I love making soup! Every pot is different, and since our summer evenings can be cool with the afternoon rains, I am happy to make soup year round. It is so easy!
Tonight’s pot was a clean-out-the-fridge kinda soup using fall vegetables. It can be tweaked to add meat, potatoes, rice, noodles or more or less of the ingredients. That’s what I love about making soup – you don’t need a recipe! But here is what I did for supper.
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart stock or broth*
1 bay leaf
1 tsp caraway
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped
4 carrots, sliced in rounds
broccoli stalks, peeled and sliced in rounds**
kale, chopped in bite size pieces
2 cups cooked lentils***
salt to taste
Heat the olive oil and saute the onion. When it is almost translucent, add the garlic. Stir it in, and keep an eye on it so the garlic doesn’t burn (it burns easily).
When the onion and garlic are done, add the stock, and turn the heat up. When it boils, add the bay leaf, caraway, cabbage, carrots and broccoli stalks, and simmer until the carrots are almost completely cooked.
Add the kale and lentils, and cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt here if you want to.
Done! The cabbage makes this really sweet. I ate two bowls just the way it is, but you could sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top. Buttered bread is great for dunking, too!
You can do anything with soup. Try browning some sage-y or thyme-y sausage with the onions. That would taste great with the addition of potatoes (wash and quarter small ones, and put them in to cook with the carrots).
* Making stock – I have a constant supply of stock. When I steam vegetables or boil potatoes, I let the water cool and save it in quart yogurt containers (recycle!). When they start to add up during a hot spell in summer, I label the containers with the date and put them in the freezer. You can also make stock by boiling clean kitchen scraps before you compost them. They serve double duty then! You can also boil the carcass of a roasted chicken or turkey, let it cool, and skim off some of the fat. Use it or freeze it.
** Broccoli stalks – When I use broccoli, I steam the florets and save the stalks. Cut off the tough outer layer, which is very stringy. Get down to the white part in the middle. You can add this to salads raw, because it tastes like radishes. I usually just add it to soup. If you cut it thin, it will cook faster. My kids love broccoli stalks in soup!
*** Cooking lentils – Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add 1 cup of lentils, bring to a boil again, then turn it down and simmer for 30 minutes. You can do this while the soup is simmering to cook the carrots.