It’s a rare rainy day in the Rockies and so it’s clearly a day for soup! Plus, we have a bunch of vegetables sitting in the back of the fridge just waiting to die, so I had better find a way to use them up. I don’t know if you’ve done the same, but we’ve been stocking up on healthy vegetables during this pandemic, both at the store and in the garden. But what we’ve actually been eating is Pringles by the bucketful. I wonder what the vitamin C content of Pringles is? I bet you have to eat a lot of them to get your daily requirement…
This recipe was actually titled “Donna and Valinda’s Fridge Veggie Soup”, meant to use up any and every vegetable you have just lying around. It’s another great offering from the “Soup Whisperer” of our family, Nona. It turns out I married into a long line of soup lovers with Pennsylvania Dutch roots and they know their soups. But it was my husband that pointed out that the whole reason this recipe works is because you are starting with the classic French technique of a mirepoix.
A mirepoix consists of diced onions, carrots and celery usually in the ratio of 2:1:1, usually cooked in butter or oil for a long time on low heat. (When making a white stock, or fond blanc, parsnips are substituted for carrots to maintain the white color – a great way to use up our garden parsnips!) Mirepoix is the base of many French dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces and is what makes them so uniformly delicious and flavorful.
Likewise in this soup, as long as you start with that trinity of aromatics, whatever remaining vegetables you decide to throw in should still make an excellent soup. So you can clean out your fridge, or harvest all those vegetables that have been sitting around a little too long and it will still taste rich and satisfying.
Perfect for a rainy day and great with a side of Pringles.
Mirepoix Mixed Vegetable soupCourse: Soups, MainDifficulty: Easy
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 leek, diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced (or regular potato, or parsnip)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp tarragon
2 Tbsp “Suzie Q’s” spice
(If no Susie Q’s substitute 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp parsley)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
any other veggies you want to add…a can of corn from the huge canned goods stash, some old mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, peas or whatever is about to give up on life in your fridge or freezer.
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- Make a mirepoix. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (The goal is not to brown or caramelize the vegetables, but simply to cook them to let out their aromatic flavors.)
- Add the leek, sweet potato, 1/2 tsp salt, several grinds of pepper, stir and cook 2 more minutes.
- Add the wine and cook for a minute to reduce by half.
- Add canned tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, tarragon, red pepper, Susie Q, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Stir in broth and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in cherry tomatoes and all the remaining veggies.
- Cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until veggies are tender.
- Stir in vinegar and spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and garnish with fresh thyme, or microgreens for added color.