Written by my lovely wife 🙂
For many years, I was very much a carnivore. If it didn’t have meat, I felt it was lacking and in many cases, wouldn’t eat it. I have recently discovered, this was truly my loss and one I’ve been trying to make up for since becoming a vegetarian. Vegetable soup was one of those dishes that I was just never all that crazy about. The chunks of tomato were very off-putting for me and I was just not a fan of all those…vegetables. Now that my main food source comes from vegetables, my world has opened up and I am discovering a plethora of dishes that, once upon a time, were gross to me. More the fool was I.
As you may have already read, over a long weekend, D and I ran away from home for a few days of quiet and relaxation. Just the two of us. It was blissful and much needed. Now that we’re back to reality, I thought I would share the Vegetable Soup we made while camping.
This dish took us several hours to prepare due in part to coals that were a bit on the cool side but this was not a major crisis. In my opinion, it gave the flavors a chance to intensify, this is always a good thing. Anytime you make a soup or stew of some kind, I think it is always a good idea to allow it simmer for at least a couple of hours. Hold back any potatoes you might use until the last 40 minutes or so in order to make sure they don’t become mush. Allowing the flavors to simmer will be well worth the wait, I promise you.
What you’ll need:
2 Celery Stalks (Chopped)
1/2 Cup Carrots (Chopped. We sliced up baby carrots)
1/2 Onion (Finely chopped)
1-2 TBS of Butter or Vegetable Oil
2 Cans Vegetable Stock
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
3-4 Potatoes (Diced)
1 Cup Fresh Green Beans (If possible, or frozen)
5-6 Basil Leaves (Finely chopped)
Garlic Powder (Fresh garlic can be used with mirepoix if you desire)
What you’ll do:
In a large pot combine your mirepoix (Carrots, Celery and Onion) with butter or oil and saute until onions and celery are translucent. A few tablespoons of water and a dash of salt can help speed this process along.
Add cans of Vegetable stock and Tomatoes to your mirepoix, then add seasonings. I purposefully leave out the measurements for the seasonings because taste is subjective. Add the seasonings the way you like them. The amounts of each that you use will make this soup your own.
Allow to simmer for at least 1-2 hours to allow flavors to meld.
Add in diced Potatoes and continue simmering until tender.
Add in fresh Green Beans or thawed Green Beans in the last 5-8 minutes before serving. This will allow the beans to maintain texture and not turn to mush.
You can certainly add a larger variety of veggies to this soup if you would like. This is simply what we chose to bring with us while camping.
Hint: For seasonings, add a little of each at a time. Take your time and SMELL your soup as you cook it. Believe it or not, your sense of smell will tell you if you need more of something and of course TASTE it often.
We served this soup with a croutons and a bit of shredded cheese. The cheese melds with the soup and gives it a nice creamy texture and you can never go wrong with croutons.
As always, be adventurous and play with your food. Find the combination of seasonings and vegetables that make your mouth sing. Try it out and tell us what you think.