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Anything Can Be Soup?

We’re moving at the end of the month. Not far, just a couple of subway stops down. So to lighten the load, we’re trying to consume or use what we’ve got in the pantry and fridge. You know, to start fresh. As a soup lover, I have developed numerous bowls full of tasty veg, fruit, protein and flavourful thick and thin broth for my classes. I enjoy international flavours, so I have made all kinds… Turkish, Albanian, Sri Lanken, Middle Eastern.

Sometimes, one just craves the down home goodness of vegetable soup. Felt like that last night, so I used the KISS principal. If you follow the simple directions for this chunky vegetable soup… get creative with the veggies and spices, it’s your choice. Virtually anything can be soup. Got some leftover cooked chicken, beans, pasta, grains? Go ahead add them too! One other thing about this soup recipe. It was made with ALL organic ingredients. Buy in season for an array of economical beautiful fresh peak of perfection produce. Loads of colourful veggies hits many vitamins and minerals contributes to a healthy you!

When I was in high school, the cafeteria used to serve Friday soup…yes on Fridays. I loved it! Ah…hmmm…until I found out exactly why they called it Friday soup??? It seems they just blended the remains of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday’s lunch! Have to admit it was rather tasty. Especially as a hungry young student at noon. Yes…anything can be soup.

Tips When Making Vegetable Soup

A. Don’t skimp on aromatics…lots of onions, garlic, carrots, lemon grass, ginger root, citrus rind…all contribute to a flavourful broth.

B. Cut the hard veggies the same size. This is so they cook at the same pace.

C. Get a combination of naturally sweet vegetables like root vegetables, any of the brassica family…like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts…they tend to sweeten as they cook. More flavour.

D. Add leafy or softer or frozen or precooked at the last few minutes, so they don’t overcook.

E. Do not overcook so that the veggies become mushy.

F. Add your spices at the beginning so they can fragrant the broth. This includes the freshly ground black pepper.

G. Add your salt at the end, and be mindful to add it sparingly, a little at a time until you get the hang of how much is just right.

H. If you can’t make your own, choose an organic tetra pack broth with the least ingredients. I find they are the most flavourful.

Chunky Naturally Sweet Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large bay leaf 1 tablespoon rosemary, dried 1 medium cooking onion, chopped 4 large gloved, coarsely chopped 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced 1 medium sweet potato, diced 2 cups butternut squash, diced (about half a medium) 1 cup purple cabbage, diced half a small head of cauliflower, diced 1 litre chicken or vegetable broth ½ cup corn, frozen or fresh handful of spinach 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1. Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat.

  2. Add onion, garlic, and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.

  3. Add the bay leaf and rosemary. Cook for a few minutes.

  4. Then add all the vegetables and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Add the stock and enough water to have about 2 to 3 inches more than the vegetables.

  6. increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer.

  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.

  8. Add the corn and spinach.

  9. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice.

  10. Season, to taste, with kosher salt.

  11. Portion into individual servings and freeze leftovers for when you feel like soup but don’t want to make it.

I made a smoked salmon sandwich, with plain no fat yoghurt and grape tomatoes on Harbord’s Onion Rye…tasted yummy together with the soup!

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