18 February 2010

Vegetable Soup

I wasn't feeling all too well tonight (sore throat), so I decided that soup was the way to go. This one is simple, quick (apart from preparing the vegetables themselves, takes a little while), and much more filling than I thought. I have about two quarts left of it after dinner last night, some of it in the fridge and some in the freezer.

I served this with some grilled cheese sandwiches, but it'd go great with just some freshly baked bread and maybe a little sharp cheddar cheese. Or, if you want it to be even healthier, serve it with nothing but a spoon!

Vegetable Soup

3 medium leeks
2 cloves garlic
2 medium potatoes
3 medium carrots
2 cups green beans
8 tomatoes
1 can corn (or 2 ears fresh corn)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
black pepper

Start by preparing all the ingredients: slice the leeks (white part only), mince the garlic, peel and cube the potatoes (1/2 inch cubes), peel and slice the carrots (make "coins" of carrot), cut the green beans into 1 inch pieces.

Peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds: boil enough water to cover a tomato, make a small incision (an X) at the very bottom, then place in the hot water for 30 seconds. Transfer to an ice bath and peel off the skin (it should come right off at this point). Cut open, remove the seeds, then chop the tomatoes. If using fresh corn, I prefer it roasted. Set the oven to 350 degrees, place the cobs on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes - you should obviously do this well in advance and not after you start making the actual soup.

Once you're ready, put about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the leek, garlic and a pinch of salt, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes and beans and cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the stock and turn the heat to high. Once the liquid starts to simmer, add the tomatoes, corn and about a half teaspoon of black pepper. Stir the soup, then turn the heat to low and cover. Let cook for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are entirely cooked through and tender. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste, then serve immediately.

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