After last week’s sugar hit (the chocolatey s’mores waffle affair), I felt it necessary to redeem myself by way of an everything-in vegetable soup. With no less than 10 vegetables, it rates as the ultimate fridge clear out and the best all-in-one winter immune booster. But we’re not stopping here. Swirls of peppery rocket pesto and toasted seeds make this soup an absolute joy that’ll have you ladling seconds.
I initially had a corruptive chocolate tart ready for Monday’s post, but then I made this pot of golden everything-in vegetable soup and decided to save it for later. Also, news of a cold front making it’s way up from a chilly and wet Cape Town usually means Joburg is next in line for an icy bout. What then could be more welcoming than a warm, virtual bowl-hug? Feelings of virtuosity saw me baking a no-knead wholemeal spelt loaf to serve alongside. Baking your own bread is a synch and quite therapeutic really. Alternatively, bruschetta slathered with Danish feta will also make scrumptious soup-dippers.
If you’re looking to make your own pesto, this is the recipe I fall-back on time and again. It combines wild rocket with basil and walnuts for a bold peppery taste. Alternately, Pesto Princess makes the most delectable range of pesto. The Greek pesto with olives and feta is a particularly good match with this golden soup.
This is literally the easiest soup I’ve ever made. It’a bang everything in, simmer, blitz and serve recipe. As simple as that. There’s no fancy knife skills or ‘cheffiness’ to it. You can virtually close one eye and have a glass of wine while cooking supper. How bad can that be? It bears mentioning that this recipe makes enough soup to feed a village, which can only be good news for anyone intent on beating the system. Invite a crowd over for a casual soup and rolls evening or freeze half for midweek back-up. I strongly suggest you get your vegetable quota in with at least three bowls of this nutritious soup. You’re going to need it pre-Wednesday’s tart. It’s coming. Brace yourselves…..
The everything-in vegetable soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 smallish leeks, diced
- 3 stems celery
- 2-3 carrots
- 500g butternut
- 2 orange sweet potatoes (kumara)
- 3 medium sized zucchini
- half a head of broccoli
- half a head cauliflower
- 800g tinned chopped tomatoes
- handful fresh oregano, roughly chopped
- 1 stem fresh rosemary, de-stalked and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes (optional)
- 1.75 litres vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup milk
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, optional
- Peel the carrots, butternut and sweet potatoes. Chop and dice all the vegetables.
- Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
- Now add the leeks, celery and carrots to the onions and cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add all the remaining vegetables, chopped tomatoes and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the stock, cover partially with a lid and simmer for about 40 minutes until all the vegetables are fork tender.
- Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Return the soup to the pot and add the milk. Heat through. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and add a little more water or milk if you prefer a thinner soup.
- Serve with swirls of pesto and a handful of toasted seeds.