The Vegetable Soup Recipe You Need to Have This Fall

As I read on Twitter last week, “Hot girl summer may be over but soup girl fall is forever.” This is the perfect time to break out the crock pot, pressure cooker, or other pot to make the soup you’ve been thinking about every time you’re out in the cold. As a college student, possibly with limited cookware and time, it can be a real task to figure out which soup to make when you have too much work and too little time.  

Here, I’m going to share with you one of the easiest, and tastiest, vegetable soups to make during the fall season. 

Ingredients: 

- 1 large potato cut roughly into 1-inch pieces (I find that Russet works the best for my taste and carries other flavors wonderfully, but ultimately the decision is up to you and your potato preferences.) 

- 2 stalks of celery, chopped 

- 2 carrots, chopped 

- ½ yellow onion, chopped (Traditionally the amount of onion is supposed to be roughly equal to the carrots and celery combined, but you can vary the amount you use based on the flavor you are trying to achieve.) 

- 1 zucchini, halved and sliced 

- 1 tomato, chopped 

- 1 can red kidney beans 

- 1 handful green beans 

- 1 tbsp soup base (Vegetable base works best in my experience and is great for all you vegetarians and vegans out there!) 

- 2 cloves garlic, minced 

- Olive oil 

- Salt (to taste) 

- Cumin (to taste) 

- White pepper (to taste) 

- Cholula/red pepper flakes/tabasco (to taste)  

- Water (The amount will depend on the pot you use.)

*Vegetable amounts can be adjusted based on your preferred soup to vegetable ratio!

Preparation: 

1. Chop vegetables to prepare your mirepoix (the carrots, onions, and celery) as well as the other soup vegetables. 

Directions: 

1. Heat up your chosen pot on the stove and add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Once the oil is sufficiently hot (not deep frying hot but hot enough so that the vegetables can be heard cooking), add the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Stir frequently and sprinkle salt over the top of all vegetables. Sweat the vegetables (sounds weird, but it’s a cooking term I promise), or, saute on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes. Take care not to burn the vegetables! 

2. Add the soup base and tomatoes to the pot for extra flavor and mix. Let cook for 1-2 more minutes and add enough water to fill about ⅔ of the pot. Sprinkle in seasonings in your preferred amounts and add roughly 2 tbsp more salt. It’s important that you don’t add too much salt initially because the soup will become too salty and the flavors won’t cook out as well. Throughout this recipe we will add salt in various stages, only after tasting the broth.  

3. Cover the pot and let the broth and vegetables simmer. Add potatoes at this time and cover again. The time between adding potatoes and the rest of the vegetables will be the longest interval. This is because the potatoes need to cook and become softer so that it will be more pleasant to eat them. 

4. You’ll know the potatoes have been cooked long enough when they are soft to the touch (of a fork, please do not use your hands) and may break apart with more ease. At this time, add the zucchini, green beans, and kidney beans and cover.  

5. Let cook for about 5 minutes and then taste the broth. As the vegetable flavors cook into the broth, you’ll be better able to judge how much salt and seasonings to add. This is a good time to add more salt and seasonings as there won’t be much more flavor coming out of the vegetables during the cooking process.  

6. Once you’ve adjusted the flavor to your liking, cover the soup again and let it cook for another 5 minutes. By this time, the zucchini and other vegetables should be sufficiently softened. Taste the broth again and make your final adjustments.  

I cannot praise this soup enough. I’ve made this soup more times than I can count so I can vouch for its reliability, and maybe more importantly, it’s affordability. As college students, our budgets are stretched very thin. The most expensive part of this soup is the soup base, which will last you for at least 10 pots of soup. Because you’re buying raw produce, it’s extremely inexpensive and will last you for days. It also generally takes anywhere between 1 and 2 hours to make and you can easily do homework, study, or read while it’s cooking.  

  One of the things that makes this vegetable soup so great is its versatility. You can substitute most of the ingredients I specify, add, take away, or whatever you desire. It can be tailored to what you keep in your fridge and can be easily experimented with.  

 

In my experience, the best way to enjoy this soup is with a fresh baguette and a pinch of parmesan cheese sprinkled in. As the cold weather forges on, take an hour or two to make a pot of this vegetable soup to warm yourself up. 

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