Soup for the end of the summer
This is barely a recipe. In fact I almost didn’t share it with you because it’s so simple. However it tasted good, looked pretty and is cheap and nutritious. It’s also an ideal soup to make as the season changes because it’s light enough to evoke the taste of summer and warming enough to serve as the autumn weather sets in.This is really a very adaptable recipe and I often make it to use up the contents of the vegetable drawer in my fridge. I called this version End of Summer Soup because I used some of the summer vegetables that are still growing in our garden and combined them with some of the winter root vegetables that we are just starting to harvest. I’m giving you a list of ingredients so you can see what I used this time but really it’s just a guideline so please adapt it to suit what you have on hand. I’ve also given amounts but don’t bother to measure anything because this is not the kind of soup that need precision.
1 tbsp olive oil
Approx. 1 cup of anything in the allium family, chopped – (I used a combination of onions, leeks and garlic)
3 tbsp mixed fresh herbs, chopped or 3/4 tbsp of dried herbs (I used sage, thyme and tarragon)
4 sticks of celery, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
Approx. 2 cups of root vegetables, chopped (I used sweet potato, carrots and turnips)
Approx. 1 1/2 cups softer vegetables, chopped (I used summer squash and red pepper)
1 can of beans, drained and rinsed (I used garbanzo)
5 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
Vegetable broth to cover (about 8 cups)
Approx. 1/2 cup parsley and chives, chopped
Salt and pepper
In a large soup pot saute the onions, leeks and garlic in the olive oil over a gentle heat for 5 – 8 minutes, until the onion is transparent. Then add the chopped herbs (except parsley and chives which go in at the end). Add the root vegetables and cover the pot. Sweat the vegetables over a low heat for 5 minutes to extract some of their juices. Then pour on the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the soft vegetables and the beans and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for a further three minutes (the idea is to use the tomatoes to give the soup some sweetness but cook them briefly so they don’t break up and make the broth taste too much of tomato). Add the parsley and chives, adjust the seasoning by adding salt and pepper if necessary and serve.