Updated: Mar 30, 2020
I freaking love soup.
I love everything about it....the creating, chopping, stirring, tasting, smelling and finally eating. Mmmm, mmmm, good 🍜
Homemade soup is one of the most nourishing, comforting, economical and healthy meals that ever existed.
Soup is the shizzle.
Seriously, soup can be healthy, nourishing and SO EASY to make -- and it is infinitely healthier and better tasting when you make it yourself. No fake ingredients. No fillers. Less sodium. No MSG.
Besides, making soup is also incredibly therapeutic. Chopping, stirring, tasting. It's an act of love, comfort and care taking. Sometimes, I like to process my thoughts as I wash, chop and mince. Sometimes, I talk to my mom or a girlfriend as I stir and season. Most times, I boogie and sing at the top of my lungs.🤘Regardless, making soup is a beautiful, nurturing ritual that always brings me comfort and helps me feel delightfully nourished.
If you've never made soup from scratch, it might seem a little intimidating at first. I'm gonna walk you through the process so you never have to be hesitant. The great thing about soup is that it is very forgiving! That's why I make a great soup 😃You almost can't go wrong -- just taste and adjust along the way.
This is my favorite easy soup to make. It's full of veggies, protein, fiber and offers lots of variations. One pot will last my very voracious hubby and me for about 3 dinners and two lunches.
Here we go!
1. Always start by adding a small glug of oil or a little butter to your soup pot. Then, saute chopped onion and garlic. Do not let it brown or burn. I used yellow and red onion. You can use yellow, white, or red onion, shallots or leeks here...and lots of minced garlic. Saute on low to medium heat until soft and translucent.
2. Next, if you are using meat in your soup, add it now if it needs to cook. I used a little ground sausage and 1 pound of local grass-fed and pastured stew meat cut into small pieces. Saute the meat in the onion until it is mostly cooked.
Do you need to drain any grease from that meat? If so, do it now.
If you are using cooked chicken or meat, you can add that in now, too, just stir it in and move on.
3. Chop chop chop. Add all your veggies!! This is my favorite part! I add every colorful and hearty root veggie, squash and soup vegetable I can find!
For this soup I used 4 large, scrubbed carrots, 3 stalks of fresh celery, 2 peeled yams, 1/2 a butternut squash, one yukon gold potato, I large can of fire-roasted stewed tomatoes and 3 zucchini squash. Be creative -- use what you've got. Here are some great choices: carrots, celery, potatoes, yams, squash, parsnips, rutabaga, green beans, peas, peppers, canned or fresh tomatoes and even cauliflower.
4. Add beans. I used a whole package of dry soup beans. If you are using dry beans, you'll need to remember to soak those suckers overnight. I actually prefer to use lentils or split peas, which don't even need to be soaked, just rinse and add. to the pot. If you are using canned beans, just drain, rinse and throw them in. Beans are an excellent source of protein, nutrients and fiber....but, if you don't have beans, no worries ... just skip it this time 😉
4. Stir it all up and add bone broth or stock to cover by a few inches or until the pot is full. Homemade bone broth or stock is healthiest, but you can also use organic boxed or canned broth (be careful of MSG, yeast extract and other flavor enhancers) What's that? You don't have any? Don't worry, sweetie ... just use water!💧
5. Let it simmer low until the beans are soft and veggies are cooked and everything has had a chance to co-mingle, get cozy and super flavorful.
6. Adjust seasonings. Add salt, pepper, any dry herb you like (think: thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, parsley, etc.) and fresh lemon juice...oh yeeess! 🍋This is a secret ingredient that adds bling to your soup!! Easy does it. Taste as you go. Don't have lemon? Be creative. Use a cap-full of apple cider vinegar,
7. Add greens or fresh herbs, like parsley, shortly before eating. I used shredded cabbage. Cabbage is a great choice because it is hearty and won't get mushy and discolored when added to soup -- it also adds a lot of texture and a little crunch. If I don't have cabbage, I will add shredded kale just before serving so it maintains its vibrant green color -- or I will add baby spinach to the bowl before ladling in the soup. No need to cook it, as the hot soup will cause it to wilt perfectly.
And there you go!! You just made soup from scratch!!
And, it is so versatile! Add brown rice, quinoa or pasta to this soup for a twist. Serve it over a baked potato or yam. With crusty bread. Alongside a fresh, crunchy salad. So nourishing. So good.
Now, your turn -- share your favorite easy-peasy homemade soup 👇