I don’t know if I’ve ever admitted this before, but I am not the biggest fan of soup.
I’ve heard many a soup-lover rhapsodize about the wonders of it: how warm it is, how filling, how delicious. They get that dreamy look in their eyes and compare notes on the best kind. I smile and nod, but really… I don’t get it. I mean, wouldn’t a pizza also meet those criteria? And be more satisfying?
It’s not that I’m completely anti-soup. I enjoy the occasional bowl of chicken noodle, provided that there’s more chicken and noodles than broth. I also have eaten a tasty chicken and wild rice soup that’s so thick it clings to the spoon. And hot-and-sour soup with loads of whatever that stuff is in it? Yes, please.
It’s not so much that I don’t like soup as that I hate broth. It’s so fussy and fiddly. It takes forever to eat and I’m sure to spill at least some of it on me somewhere, somehow. It’s wimpy food, food for people who are sick or have recently had dental surgery. It’s warmed-up seasoned water, and I don’t understand the appeal.
You can break it down as the following syllogism:
I am not a fan of broth.
Soup is made with broth.
Ergo, I am not a fan of soup.
All of this is to show you just how surreal the past month or so has been for me. I have been craving, of all things, vegetable soup.
But this isn’t just any kind of watered-down, mushy soup: it has stuff in it. Lots and lots of good stuff. And I’ll be willing to bet that even those who don’t like soup in your house won’t turn their noses up at it.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced (or if you are like me and buy the pre-minced stuff in a jar, 1 good-sized teaspoon)
- 2 medium potatoes, chopped in large-ish pieces
- 1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes (I use 6-in-1 Tomatoes; I think they make a huge difference — whether for pizza sauce, pasta sauce or in this chunky veggie soup).
- 1 16 oz (or thereabouts) bag of frozen veggies (whatever mix catches your eye), thawed
- 1 14.5 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add green pepper, onion, garlic, and potatoes, and stir to coat.
- Add about 1/2 cup of the broth. Cook, stirring often until potatoes start to soften. Add celery and continue to stir for 2-3 more minutes. If the liquid begins to evaporate, add a little bit more broth at a time.
- Add in the other ingredients. Stir well.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until soup is heated through and flavors are well-blended (about 15 minutes or so).
- Season with salt and pepper and enjoy.
Are you a fan of all kinds of soup, and if so, which is your favorite? Or have the too-brothy, too-salty pre-packaged ones ruined soup for you?