Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Best Soup I Ever Made

(And Maybe the Best Soup I Ever Ate)


I like tomatoes. And I like vegetable soup. I've made it a number of times. Once in awhile, I choose it a the soup and salad bar, though I'm sometimes doubtful whether I'll like it or not. It often seems a little greasy, or overcooked. Last Saturday I ended up with a bounty of ripe, fresh vegetables and greens from the farmers market and knew I couldn't eat them before they spoiled using my usual vegetable cooking methods, so I decided to make them into soup.

I had three sacks of dead-ripe tomatoes that I used for the base. Even though it was more work, I went ahead and skinned them by parboiling and slipping the skins. They were very small, so it was a LOT of extra work! I cooked down the tomatoes for about a half hour or so.

The order of events for adding the veggies was pretty important, since I wanted them all to have some texture still at the end of the cooking. So while the soup was making, I would periodically toss in the next sliced or chopped vegetable. While the tomatoes were simmering, I set some diced shallots to sautéing in a bit of olive oil.

Carrots first.

Add a chopped bell pepper to the sautéing onions.

Cut up the green and yellow beans and dump in.

Slice off corn from the cob and add.

Add big chunks of yellow squash.

Mince a couple garlic cloves and add to the sauté pan for the last couple minutes.

Set some gnocchi to boil in a separate pot.

Dump in contents of the sautéed pan.

Big handful of cut-up Swiss chard next.

Start seasoning the soup with red wine vinegar and "Better than Bouillion" chicken soup base mix (which I like to use instead of salt).

Dip out the cooked gnocchi and put in the soup.

Stir in chopped fresh basil and then turn off the burner.

I couldn't believe how sweet, rich, savory and flavorful it was! A nice addition would be a squirt if Sriarcha rooster sauce if you like the heat. Otherwise, it's perfect as-is.

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