I like a good soup! There is a diner near us that serves the best vegetable soup - it's chocked full of probably everything they didn't use the day before - lots of vegetables in every spoon.
This soup is just as it's called - Vegetable Soup - it fits the bill for vegetarian - but still good enough for those that are carnivores also.
The main part of this soup is the base - it's a vegetable/tomato base - not chicken or beef. Once you have the base prepared - the rest is totally up to you - you decide which vegetables to include, and which not to include.
Serves 6 to 8 large bowls
Step 1: Prepare the Base...the Broth
First prepare the base of the soup.......Once you have this the rest is easy.
(2) 32oz containers of vegetable stock (I used a non-salted version) - try to find ones with the least amount of added things - these are usually the healthier options.
If you have your own vegetable stock - you will need about 32oz
If you are using "better than bullion" then mix enough for 32oz
If you are using bullion - just remember - it's going to be salty.
(1) 28oz can Diced Tomatoes (or (2) 14oz cans) - do not drain -
(1) 29oz can Tomato Sauce (NOT Spaghetti/pasta Sauce/Gravy) -
(1) 6oz can Tomato Paste -
(1) 32oz water - just plain water -
Now let's add some vegetables......
Step 2: Veggie Time
Now that the liquids (soup base) have been added to the stock pot, it's time for the vegetables!
I used the following - but that's just me - add what you like and don't add what you don't like.
Celery - about 5 stalks - First run a potato peeler across the backs to strip off their strings.
Since I was using a no added salt broth - I chose to add more celery. Keep in mind that celery can add some salt flavor to the soup. If you happen to find any leaves on your celery - add them in too.
Carrots - about 5 or 6 - I leave the skin on - if you don't like that - peel them.
Also, as with the celery, if you are lucky enough to have the carrot tops with leaves - cut the leaves off and add them too - they have lots of flavor.
Broccoli - one head - if you are not a fan - leave it out.
Brussels Sprouts - I put in about 5 or 6
A secret to cooking these all the way through is to first chop of the bottom of the stalk. Then cut an X pattern into the stalk about 1/4" in - this will allow the bottoms to cook. I also peeled a couple of the sprouts and tossed the leaves in.
Cauliflower - one head - if your not a fan - leave it out (this is your soup after all)
Onion - two medium sliced (more if you want more - none if you don't want them at all)
Baby Spinach leaves - one bag - add this last
it looks like a lot, but it will quickly cook down and wilt into the soup you may not even realize it's there.
Other options to add could be:
Zucchini or other squash - if you are a zoodleer - put your zoodles in a bowl uncooked and add the soup to it.
Kale (again this one will cook down)
Mushrooms (fresh or drained 4oz cans - you decide how many)
Peppers (sweet - unless you want the heat)
More Tomatoes (can you really have enough?)
Cabbage - these will cook down
Lettuce - your pick on which type - these will cook down
anything else you want to include
Step 3: Spices
Not too much here - or maybe more?
(2) tablespoons minced Garlic - might be like 4 chopped cloves?
(2) tablespoons of dry minced onions
(1) teaspoon ground pepper
(1) tablespoon Oregano (or cut fresh leaves)
(1) tablespoon Basil (or cut fresh leaves)
Any other spices you want to add - some hot pepper flakes? Cumin? Paprika? it's your soup.
Step 4: Time to Make Soup...
So first add your liquids (stock/broth) to the pot.
Next add your vegetables to the pot (cut them up as small or big as you like)
Now comes the spices.
cook on high to a boil for about 5 to 10 minutes - this should cook down the spinach pretty quick
then reduce the heat (not a boil, not a simmer) and cook for about 30 minutes (Covered - Lid on).
then reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour (Uncovered - Lid off or open) .
Guess what? You've got soup. - Enjoy!