Other than lettuce, there never seems to be a big enough harvest to make a complete meal for two of us. What can you do with a handful of green beans, a hot pepper and a few tomatoes? Mix in a few farmer's market finds and wah-lah it becomes a hearty veggie medley soup or as I like to call it "Whatever Your Garden Grows" Soup. It's a great way to have dinner now and a couple of dinners stowed in the freezer for later.
I'm giving you a recipe, but let's face it, you don't really need one. The idea is to use whatever random veggies you have on hand. Essentially, I always start with onions and garlic, and sometimes a hot pepper, for a flavor base, then I add things like carrots and potatoes that take longer to cook, I saute everything for a few minutes, add the broth and just start adding the other veggies that require less cooking time (green beans, corn, etc.). I like to add the herbs a few minutes before serving for a final touch. Don't be tied to exact measurements or exact ingredients. Have fun and go with the flow - that's become my gardening mantra and it translates pretty well into the kitchen too.
Whatever Your Garden Grows Soup
Approx. 3 quarts
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 hot pepper, minced
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and diced
- 1 potato, scrubbed and diced
- 6 cups broth (chicken or vegetable or just use water)
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 1 dozen green beans, chopped into 1-inch long pieces
- 2 ears of corn, cut the kernels off the cob
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot.
- Toss in the diced onion and saute until slightly translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and hot pepper, when it becomes fragrant toss in the diced carrots.
- When the carrots and just tender, add the diced potato and saute for 5-8 minutes.
- Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Pour in the broth.
- When the broth comes up to a boil add in zucchini, green beans, corn kernels and tomato.
- Cover and turn the heat down to simmer.
- Let the soup simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Strip off the leaves from the sprig of thyme and stir into the soup.
- Let the soup remain at a simmer for 5 more minutes.
- From here you can let it stay warm until you're ready to eat or dive right in.
- Before serving, top each bowl with a little fresh grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.
This recipe yielded two dinner-sized bowls to eat now and two full quarts to save for later.