As we face the realities of self-distancing during the current state of the world, many of us are having to make due with the groceries we already have at home. Vegetable soup is a hearty option that can feed a family and provide leftovers that stay good in the refrigerator for a few days.
This What’s on Hand Vegetable Soup recipe is inspired by exactly that – what you may or may not have on hand in your pantry, freezer or the crisper drawer. Dried herbs most people have in their spice rack add some traditional flavor, while a mix of fresh and frozen vegetables give it a heartiness that will keep you feeling full.
I’ve outlined the recipe based on ingredients from my own pantry, freezer and crisper drawer, but you can substitute with anything that works well for you. Here are some guidelines:
Start with about 8 to 10 cups of vegetables. This is a good excuse to use up some veggies that are on the verge of going bad in your refrigerator or that bag of frozen green beans that’s been hiding under the ice cream carton.
You’ll need enough liquid to cover the vegetables in the pot. The liquid from canned tomatoes, vegetable broth and a bit of water were what I used, but you can always use just water. The vegetables will flavor the water as the soup cooks, especially if you start with a Mirepoix (carrots, onion and celery in this case). Remember many vegetables are packed with water and will release liquid as they cook.
Be mindful of the flavor. Taste as you go, and adjust the salt, pepper and herbs to your palate before serving. It’s easier to add seasoning than take it away, so be gentle.
What’s on Hand Vegetable Soup
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, diced into ½-inch pieces
2 russet potatoes, rough diced
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups (half a bag) frozen green beans
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1½ teaspoons dried parsley
1½ teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat a large pot over medium-high to high heat and add in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once heated, add in diced onion, carrots and celery. Cook until onions are translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add in minced garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add in rough diced potato, zucchini, canned tomatoes with liquid, frozen green beans and vegetable broth, ensuring vegetables are covered. Add water, as needed to just cover vegetables.
Add in dried oregano, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Bring pot to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Once potatoes are cooked through, taste liquid and adjust seasoning. Serve.
Bring leftovers to room temperature and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.