Many people have asked me for this recipe and like many of the things I prepare I say “the recipe is in my head” because I use whatever I have in my fridge, freezer and cupboards at the time and I keep adjusting until it tastes good. No two batches are ever the same. But, this applies to much of my cooking and baking for, to me, recipes are merely suggestions and I don’t always limit myself hard and fast to measuring cups and spoons either. What I need is someone following me around my kitchen with measuring cups, measuring spoons, pen and paper to record my recipes.
Having said all that and since I woke up to the sound of rain on my roof – perfect weather for a bowl of soup – here’s my best attempt at putting my vegetable soup recipe to paper.
Julie’s Vegetable Soup
2 Tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 ribs celery, diced and throw in the chopped leaves too
Fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
From here, add whatever veggies you have in the fridge or freezer: zucchini, corn kernels and chopped broccoli frequently show in my soup pot but so do Brussels Sprouts, cauliflower, bell pepper and kale.
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped or 1 heaping teaspoon dried basil
1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
2 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes (I like the kind with added Italian herbs or fire roasted) – don’t drain
1 14 ounce can of no salt/reduced salt black beans, rinsed
2 quarts low sodium vegetable broth
1 12 ounce package beefless ‘ground beef’
Heat stock pot over medium heat, add EVOO. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add carrots, celery, garlic, other veggies and pinch of fresh ground black pepper. Saute for 8 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Add the basil, oregano and saute for 2 more minutes.
Add the tomatoes with their juices, beans and stock. Turn heat up to high, bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes. I like to simmer this long because it helps all the flavors blend and make the house smell good. Add the ‘ground beef’ the last 15 minutes.