Step 3: Second Base
- While the celery onion mixture is cooking away grab about 5-6 cloves of garlic, cut the ends off and peel them. Here is an awesome trick to get out all the flavor of your garlic. Sprinkle your garlic with a couple good pinches of salt. Now slice through the salt into the garlic. As you mince the garlic, moisture & oils are being released. A lot of times these garlic juices are lost to the cutting board, but the grains of salt trap it all. Also the salt tends to keep the garlic in place as opposed rolling off on to the floor.
- Add your salted garlic to the celery onion mixture and cook for a couple minutes, oh the smells that will start to waft out of your kitchen.
- In between stirring, peel and dice up 3 carrots.
- Add to the pot, and give it a stir. At this point I add a couple good coarse grindings of black pepper and a small pinch of my secret ingredient
- SECRET INGREDIENT SPOILER ALERT - ITS THYME!!!
- Thyme may seem like one of those sort of antiquated herbs, not often reached for and often when used it expired along time ago. Often smelling musty, but... When fresh time is available or a reputable supply of dried thyme can be found it is worth it. You only need a touch, 1/2 teaspoon of whole thyme is plenty!
- Cook and stir for another 10 minutes off and on, kinda lazy like...
- Once the carrots have softened up a bit your second base is done. If you are moving on to Third Base, turn the page otherwise continue with step 9
- add about a cup of water or wine, and stir the bottom of the pot to deglaze any goodness still stuck to the bottom. The base can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, but best is just to keep the good smells coming and turn it into a full fledged soup
This makes an awesome base for any vegetarian pea, bean or lentil soups. Also works well as a base for potato soups and vegetable purees. With the addition of meat stock this makes a divine chowder or chicken soup.
If this is the base you want, it will support the addition of 4-5 more liters of water or stock added in addition to your high light flavors to make it your own soup.