A fragrant pot of homemade soup simmering on the stove is one of the most comforting foods I can think of. It seems custom made for a cold, snowy day when you have lots of time to enjoy the process BUT! while that is a lovely way to spend a lazy weekend day it's also something you can do on a weeknight with seriously minimal effort and you get leftovers to take for lunches or freeze for a day when you really have no time at all! Score!

The BASE recipe consists of an aromatic veggie to give your soup a solid flavor base; the main veggie provides the predominant flavor and texture; the liquid provides flavor and volume; and the add-ins provide texture and bulk.

All the components work together but are totally interchangeable, so sub in or out whatever ingredients you like best; make your soup super brothy with more liquid or super thick with less; add more of the main veggie if you happen to have a lot; skip the add-ins entirely for a nice simple soup. But most importantly, trust yourself, take some chances, and enjoy the process!

BASE© recipe for Soup

aromatic veggie (see below for variations)

• 1 Tbs olive or avocado oil

• 2 cups main veggie (see below for variations)

liquid (see below for variations)

add-ins (see below for variations)

• salt & pepper to taste

Heat pot large enough to hold everything over medium heat. Add oil and aromatic veggie, sauté until fragrant (about 5-10 mins for onion, celery, carrots or fennel; 30-60 seconds for garlic). Add main veggie, liquid and add-ins to pot and cook over med-low heat 15 mins. 

Serve Harvest and Mediterranean-inspired versions as is. 

For Indian-inspired, eat as is or purée until very smooth using an immersion or counter-top blender, then serve. 

Variation 1:   Harvest

aromatic veggie
• 1 large sweet or yellow onion, chopped
main veggie
• 2 cups of one or a combo: carrots, butternut squash, golden beets, washed and chopped
(a bag of frozen butternut squash or root veggies works great, too)
• 6 cups veggie or chicken stock
• 13 oz can kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
• 2 cups hearty greens like kale or chard, chopped fine
• 1 cup cooked short grain brown rice

Variation 2:   Mediterranean-inspired

aromatic veggie
• 1 bulb fennel, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced (sauté fennel first, then add garlic 30-60 before everything else)
main veggie
• 28 oz can diced tomatoes
• 5 cups water
• 13 oz can garbanzo or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 3 cups baby spinach
• 1 bunch basil, roughly torn
• 1 cup cooked pastina, like orzo

Variation 3:   Indian-inspired

aromatic veggies
• 1 large sweet or yellow onion, chopped
• 4 ribs of celery, chopped
• 2 large carrots, chopped
main veggie
• 2 cups cauliflower, broken into small florets
(a bag of frozen cauliflower works great!)
• 13 oz can coconut milk
• 6 cups veggie stock
• 1 cup red lentils, uncooked
• 1 Tbs curry powder (add this during the last couple minutes of sautéing the aromatic veggies, before adding everything else)

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