Summer Vegetable Soup: This simple yet hardy soup pulls together all the freshness from the garden for a healthy bowl of summer deliciousness.
It all began with a little sniff, then there was a sneeze, and finally I heard some coughing. It’s not surprising, really.
Over the past two weeks, the weather here in North Carolina has vacillated between 68 and 98 degrees. We’ve gone from drought conditions with crunchy grass to monsoon-level rains.
Our air conditioning has been on, then off, then to the point that we’ve stood in front of the thermostat contemplating whether we would actually need to turn the heat on at night (we didn’t).
With extremes like those, it’s no wonder that our bodies aren’t quite sure what to do and the chances of nasty little germs setting up shop increases a little. That’s what I was afraid was happening with Dudette. Every time she sniffed or sneezed, I dreaded the possibility of a summer cold coming on and knew I had to do something to head the germs off at the pass.
So, I made soup.
The glory of this soup is that it’s easy to make with whatever’s on hand in the kitchen. I did use beef broth, but if you’re looking to keep it vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth instead.
It begins with the mirepoix, which is just a fancy way of saying chop up some carrots, celery and onions. I leave my carrots and celery a little bigger so they don’t get too soft. I sauté the three vegetables in a bit of canola oil, then add the rest of my ingredients.
After simmering for 15-20 minutes, the soup is ready to serve.
Soup is always a winner in our house and this was no different. For being a bowl of vegetables, it’s pretty darn hardy stuff and tasty to boot. Not using zucchini increased the appeal for Dudette, but because I did use tomatoes with chiles in them, she thought it a tad too spicy. Personally, I think it got two birds with one stone; the soup chased any bad germs away and served as a sinus opener.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 32 ounces beef broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 medium yellow squash, sliced
- 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut up
- 1 can great northern beans
- 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with or without green chiles
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stockpot, then add the carrots, onion and celery. Stir occasionally and cook the mirepoix until just beginning to get tender, 5 minutes or so.
- Add everything else and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season with more salt and pepper if desired before serving.
I know many people don’t think hot soups really fit in summer’s realm, but I’ve always felt that way about colds, so if they can intrude, so can soup. Not only that, the soup freezes well, so it’s a perfect way to preserve the amazing bounty of this season for winter.