Monday, October 10, 2011

Vegetable Soup

Classic vegetable soup is an odd form of comfort food for me. My mother used to served canned vegetable soup from time to time and, to be honest, I didn’t like it. Little did I know that making it myself would change my feelings. This recipe, stolen from America’s Test Kitchen, is delicious. It’s comfort food, improved on.

To improve the flavor, cook the vegetables over low heat using some of the same techniques as quick soups. This draws out the natural sweetness of the vegetables and improves the flavor of store-bought vegetable broth. You could make this with chicken broth, but I don’t recommend it. This soup is much better when the vegetables take center stage. If you’d like, replace the potatoes with a can of white beans. Just drain and rinse them before adding to the pot.

Equipment Needed
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Garlic press
Fine-mesh strainer
Measuring cups and spoons
Dutch oven or large pot (6 quart)
Vegetable peeler
Large spoon
Mixing bowls

1 onion, minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt as needed
5 cups vegetable broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or 6 quart pot over medium-low heat until shimmering. Stir in the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and 3/4 tsp salt. Cover and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the broth, potatoes, and tomatoes. Bring to simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the peas and remove from the heat. Let the soup stand for 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 6 servings.

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