Looking at the world from my small rural acres in the Blue Ridge.

In Which We Create A 13 Vegetable Soup

Someone asked me for the recipe and I’m glad to share my method but you will notice that this is more a detailed guide than a traditional recipe. I do that because some basics (like many soups) are best learned as guidelines; using what you have and making soup from that.

So this is the guideline: a variety of vegetable trimmings, bones, water, seasonings, simmered and strained = stock. Add the nicely sliced and diced vegetables, some beans or rice or what have you, let simmer till all is tender, check for seasonings = eat. Preferably eaten with some fresh from the oven bread slathered with butter.

The other night Phillis Hunter, owner of the Spice Diva here in Charlottesville, and I taught a class in making vegetarian vegetable soup with three high school students. This was class two (our first class we made cheese enchiladas).

First came filling the stock pot full of carrot peels and ends, a whole head of garlic, celery stalks and roots and leaves, an onion, leek with all the thickest parts of the green leaves, parsley including the stems, spinach stems, kale stems (we used a frilly red kale), cabbage core, the trimmed tips off the sweet corn, a bay leaf, black pepper corn, and salt. All chopped rough and topped with water. It simmered at my house for a couple of hours before the class resulting in a flavorful stock. Once it was strained it came to about 8 quarts.  

Since the students were practicing their knife skills Phillis supervised them to make even piles of diced, minced, and shredded vegetables to be added to the final soup. Here is the list of what we finally added to the soup stock: green cabbage, red kale, spinach, tiny cubes of white potato, tiny cubes of Butternut squash, leek, Onion, tomato, celery, carrot, parsley, green peas (I confess we used frozen peas) green and yellow string beans, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, thyme. To make the soup extra filling we added pre-cooked lentils, elbow macaroni, and cannellini beans.

If we had a big enough cauldron we could have included rutabaga, turnip, kohlrabi, sweet potato, collards, chard, beet, zucchini, yellow summer squash, sweet red pepper, green lima beans, pearl barley, and rice!! You may have favorites I’ve not even thought of.

Our vegetarian students were pleased and proud of their knife skills resulting in such a lovely and appetizing soup. I have the feeling versions of vegetable soups will continue to part of their culinary efforts from now on. Each student took a container of their fabulous soup to share with their families. They are now looking forward to the final class when we will bake an end of the summer Peach Cobbler!!

As for me, when I got the remaining soup home along with all the rest of the veg that hadn’t fit in the pot I immediately added chicken stock to boost it up to my carnivore taste!! I added all the remaining veg, brought it to a simmer and then popped it into jars for pressure canning. I ended up with 7 jars for later this fall whenever I feel that urge for vegetable soup. 



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