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If you know me, you know that I am a summer girl through and through. Give me a hot, humid day where it hurts a little to breathe & you sweat the moment you step outside and I am a happy.
But I have a confession to make; I have a mild obsession with a nice cup of homemade soup on a chilly fall day.
I know, I know, I'm contradicting what I just told you! But doesn't this sound perfect: a chilly fall day, sitting outside while the sun shines and you're in your jeans, boots, flannel & a vest. In your hand you have a warm cup of soup that fills you to the core & you can sit, relax and just be?
Yes, that's how a cup of fresh soup makes me feel. And yes, I love flannel shirts.
Now that the season has arrived, let me share with you how we make homemade vegetable soup at my house! It's so easy that anybody can do it so they can cozy up this fall with a hearty meal!
If you also know me, you know that when I make a recipe I don't do exact measurements, it's the Italian in me.
First we start with a fresh, homemade broth. This requires a some time though, and by time I mean a few weeks. What I mean by that is this; as you're chopping & cooking throughout your week, don't throw everything away! If you're peeling a carrot, chopping an onion or garlic, cutting off the ends of celery, etc. don't throw those peels or ends away. Instead, grab a freezer Ziploc bag and begin a vegetable end collection. Every time you're cooking, you can add these types of veggies & other and continually place the bag into the freezer. When the bag is full, then you're ready to make homemade broth!
Making broth is easy. Dump your bag into a large pot and fill it with water. Bring it to a boil & let it simmer and cook down. Once it's done, strain it (but make sure you're straining it into another pot!). The strainer will catch all the veggies which you can now throw away & the second pot will catch all your vegetable broth. You can either use the broth right way or freeze it for another time.
The beauty of homemade broth is that you're using so much more of your vegetables which is a great thing! You're really not wasting any food. You are also cutting down on the sodium that store bought broths contain which makes this soup even healthier.
If you're ready to make the soup then make sure you have your broth handy! First thing, I chop up between 3-4 cloves of garlic and about a half of an onion. Throw these into an empty pot with some olive oil to sauté for a 1-2 minutes.
Then, add your veggies! You can add frozen veggies or fresh ones; I tend to do a mix of both. Add your frozen ones in first to sauté & thaw out a little bit. Then throw in your fresher veggies, stir & continue to sauté for a few more minutes. I fill the pot at least halfway with veggies, more if I'm feeling crazy.
Then it's time to add your broth! Carefully pour your brothover your veggies, if you don't have enough liquid, you can add more water. You want your veggies to be covered & then some. Use your chef eye to assess if you have enough water. The pot should be about 3/4 of the way filled with everything in it.
Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it boils, turn the heat to low & let it simmer. You can leave it without a top on and let it cook for about 2 hours. You'll notice your kitchen will be smelling incredible! Once it's done, throw in a pinch of salt & pepper to taste, grab a ladle and enjoy something amazing, hearty & healthy!
-You don't have to make your own stock! You can purchase stock or you can buy bullion cubes which you throw into the pot once the water boils & it'll dissolve. Just make sure to mix it so it adds flavor to the entire soup.
-If you want bonus flavor, add a dollop of tomato paste. It gives it an extra punch.
-Feel free to add some pasta, especially ditalini which is my favorite. The key though is to cook the pasta separately, and leave it alla dente. Add the pasta into the bowls of soup as you serve them. The pasta absorbs the juices so if you leave it in overnight, you'll have less juice and more saturated pasta.
-Freeze what you aren't going to eat right away! I typically will freeze them individual containers, I'll take them out the night before & place them in the refrigerator. By the morning, they'll be thawed and ready to take to work!
-You can make this in the crock pot! Mix everything & place on low for 6 hours. Easy!
-Make this for the meat lovers! I'm the only vegetarian in my family, so they'll add cooked chicken to their soups. It soaks up the great flavor (so I'm told)!
My name is Kristina and I'm the founder of Love Struck. Read about how Love Struck came to be, see how I make it happen or just read a random thought I just might have! Anything can happen at our blog & I wouldn't have it any other way! It's time to get Love Struck, and what better way to start than right here!