Scarves, hats, hiking shoes, apple orchards, and pumpkin patches — smells like fall to me. This means my favorite Sunday night activity is back: soup making!
Why do I love soup so? Besides the deliciousness, soups are healthy, simple to make, and inexpensive — particularly for vegans and vegetarians. In a simple stew, you can pack in a ton of your daily protein and veggie intake. And, if you’re a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) like I am, which sometimes means getting an unpredictable amount of vegetables each week, soup is a great way to make your veggies last.
What I kind of love most is that I have no recipe for soups, but they always turn out great (according to my soup-fans). Below are some tips on things you will need to keep around to make your own soup:
Keep in Stock (Pot)
For any soup-venture, you will need the following in-hand:
- Stock Pot OR a crock pot (you can leave a crock pot cooking for hours without being afraid of burning your house down)
- An immersion blender (I love using these for vegetable soups, or even bean soups. It’s super easy and makes for an awesome puree)
- Storage containers
- A ladle, naturally
- Room in the freezer
Spice it up!
No matter what kind of soup you try to make, you’ll use some, if not all, of these basic items. You might as well invest in a few to keep around:
- Vegetarian/vegan bouillon
- Saffron seasoning (I use this for lentils)
- Salt + Pepper
- Garlic and onion powder
- Five spice
- A large can of whole peeled tomatoes
I know people love a good chicken soup, or creamy this and that. But I have to say, vegan soup – with no oil at all – is delicious and healthy. I love keeping bags of beans around just in case I feel like making a concoction.
- Five bean mix
- Lentils – red or brown
- Split peas – any color!
Lentils cook the fastest and are jam packed with protein. Five bean soup takes a bit longer, but always worth the wait. Pea soup? Always pea-licious. Make sure you have any of the following in your home just in case the feeling strikes.
If you don’t have a CSA, you can always buy a “soup greens” mix at the market — which makes it souper easy to make a great soup in no time. Generally, you will want to have the following:
- 1-2 onions
- 1-2 carrots, celery, turnip, and parsnip
- I’ve been adding an apple here and there, and it adds a nice sweetness to the soup!
Stirring it all up:
Like I said, I don’t have a particular recipe that I like BEST, but here is a great recipe for lentil soup. I never add oil, often add saffron, and replace vegetables with whatever I have around. The most challenging part of learning to make big vats of soup is that you will never want to pay $5.95 for a cup of soup again…
Get stirring, and tell us about your favorite soup creation!