SOUP 101

It’s soup season, ya’ll! Fall is my absolute favorite time of year and soup is one of the reasons why. I make one big pot about once a week and eat on it for days. This vegetable soup is both comforting and crazy healthy. It’s chock full of vegetables and, let’s have an honest moment, we all need more of those in our lives.

Soup is one of those things you need to strive to be able to make without a recipe… If you learn the basics then you can create a endless variety of comforting soups! Let’s talk about your usual suspects…

  1. Aromatics – usually some combination of onion + garlic + carrot + celery, cooked in some olive oil until they look and smell as they should. (slightly golden, a tiny bit soft, fragrant but definitely NOT mushy)

  2. Liquid – stock or tomatoes or beer or wine or some combo of those options.

  3. Other vegetables and/or meat – red meat should be seared first and then set aside until it’s time to throw it back in again… chicken can be roasted or poached first, then shredded and added in due season… fish always added at the end so as not to overdo it… vegetables can be added right before the stock. Give it some color before you drown them in stock.

  4. Beans… or not. And depending on if you’re using dried (If you are, please soak them overnight OR boil the shit out of them for a bit before you add them!) Soaked beans go in early in the process to give them time to cook, canned beans can be rinsed and thrown in at the end so they don’t turn to mush. Use your noggin’, loves.

  5. Herbs – Dried herbs go in towards the beginning, so they can have some time to warm up to the situation. Fresh herbs can be thrown in all willy-nilly towards the end. They are ready for show time, so they don’t need a lot of coaxing.

  6. Cream – at the end (if you’re making a creamy soup, duh). Don’t go crazy here, unless you want to. Then just do as you please.

  7. Noodles or rice. Look on the package instructions and add it so that it has enough time to cook properly. Be sure you have given the soup enough liquid to handle the starch without stressing out.

  8. Citrus – did you know that chicken noodle soup adores a tiny squeeze of lemon right at the end? IT DOES – It’s actually a little magical. Try it next time. A chicken tortilla soup would definitely not hate a squeeze of lime, either. it just brightens things up a bit!

  9. Season with kosher salt as you go. Taste and adjust, loves. Taste and adjust. Add some cheese if you like!

So now you know the general rules – and knowing the rules allows you to BREAK the rules. Isn’t this exciting?!

Here are all the details for my vegetable soup. This is vegan (if you omit the cheese) + gluten free and paleo and Whole30 compliant! Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Throw some pasta in at the end if that makes you feel things. You should absolutely serve this with the Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread I posted last week. They are so good together!

Vegetable Soup

Here are some other favorite soup recipes for your research. But what I want you to do is read them and then set them aside so you can create something special that is all you. You do you, boo. YOU DO YOU.

Mushroom + Wild Rice Soup

White Bean + Rosemary Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup from Tyler Florence

All food by me… all images by Matthew Ray.