All Time Fave Soup

I love soup. There's something so comforting about a big warm bowl of veggies to warm you up, from a noodle bowl to a tomato soup with (gluten free) grilled cheese. I can't have soup for dinner too often, since it seems like more of a lunch thing, but on the occasions I do there are few things that are so comforting while still being packed with foods that are good for you. Plus, it's one of the easiest things to put together! If you can manage to not murder someone cutting up a billion different types of vegetables (seriously though I've said it before all that cutting is a major bitch), you're setting yourself up for one excellent dinner and a bunch of work/school lunches. 

Although do people in school bring soup anymore? Somehow seeing a thermos of soup isn't something I remember seeing since elementary school. God I'm old.

My mom made this soup, and it was honestly one of the best soups we've had in our house ever (including canned soups from the store and hot soups from local places we've brought home). Sadly though that means I don't have an exact recipe, just a general idea of what was used and how it came together. As with all soups though, follow the basics: throw in your aromatics, add veggies then broth of choice, simmer and season until happy. And serve rice/g-free pastas or noodles on the side, otherwise as part of the soup pot they'll soak all the broth up. Sidebar: great job mom!

Serves: 4 for dinner (with a few lunches)

Total Time: 1 1/2 hours, more if you want some real simmering time

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 stocks celery
  • Half a small or one whole onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 medium turnips
  • 2 Yukon potatoes
  • 1 16oz can San Marzano/equivalent stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water (add more or less at your discretion)
  • A few bunches of kale, or 2 packed cups of spinach
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Prep veggies (the worst part! It'll be over soon.) - wash everything, then chop celery, peel and chop carrots, shred kale, dice turnips and potatoes (skins on the potatoes or peeled off is totally personal preference, but for yukons I say who cares?).
  2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until shining. Add chopped garlic (or, ideally, use a garlic press to get the garlic directly into the pot). Once garlic has begun to brown, add onions, carrots and celery, and stir as onions begin to sweat (aka everything will cook down a bit and start to smell great). 
  3. After about 7 minutes, add turnips and potatoes, letting brown for about two minutes before pouring in the tomatoes and as much stock/water as you need (I feel like my girl Ina Garten, with whom I have a v serious love/hate relationship for another day, but you will notice the difference using stock over water here). When I say you "need," * I should qualify how much broth you'd like in your soup - straight up veggies popping out of minimal broth or a big ol' soupy soup. 
  4. Bring the whole thing to a boil, then cover this bad boy up and reduce to a simmer (in my world, right around medium). Taste intermittently, say every 10-15 minutes, adding salt and pepper as necessary. 
  5. Let this go as long as you can - 40 minutes minimum in my book - but when you're ready to rumble (by that I mean your stomach is making gross hungry sounds), add in the kale 20 minutes early or spinach for another 5-10 and cook down, stirring and finalizing seasonings.

Serve with grated cheese - I used Parmesan for dinner and Cabot shredded cheddar for lunch - and add-ins like noodles or rice if you'd like! Personally with the potatoes I think this is filling enough. For food, that is. Wine is still strongly encouraged to aid with digestion...or something medical.

*Since this post is based on my moms recipe I had to include a piece on "need," because one of her favorite subjects to discuss is how I don't really "need" anything. For example, I don't really "need" ice cream, or I don't really "need" a glass of red since my sister opened a new bottle. Ha.