Basic Vegetable Soup
CHOW Food Team
Turn forgotten produce and herbs loitering in the fridge into this easy, quick soup.
Game plan: You’ll need to make Pesto before you begin.
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, medium dice
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium carrots, medium dice
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, medium dice
- 2 cups additional vegetables of your choice (such as red pepper, cabbage, asparagus, mushrooms, fennel, or peas), medium dice
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 1 pinch dried thyme (optional)
- 1/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth (optional)
- 4 cups (1 quart) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, medium dice
- Pesto, for garnish (optional, see above)
1Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
2Add the carrots and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.
3Add the celery and, if using, any hearty vegetables (such as cabbage and fennel) and the bay leaf and thyme. Season again with salt and pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. If using, add the wine or vermouth (for some acidity) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol has reduced by about half, about 2 minutes.
4Add the broth, potatoes, and any quicker-cooking vegetables (such as asparagus and peas). Let the soup come to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 15 to 25 minutes. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. If you choose, serve with a dollop of pesto.
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