This recipe is based on my Mom's homemade vegetable soup I grew up on. I have made this soup hundreds of times and probably never the same way twice. So, this recipe should be viewed as a basic recipe but you should feel free to alter it with new vegetables and spices as you see fit. The beauty of cooking is always in the creativity. So, go create!
Beef soup bone - feel very to omit if you prefer a vegetarian vegetable*
1 yellow or white Onion - chopped
2 garlic cloves - minced
2 small potatoes - I use Yukon Gold but any potato will do fine - diced
3 or 4 celery stalks - chopped
3 or 4 carrots - chopped
7 or 8 cups of water or stock - I use vegetable stock for my vegetarian wife but beef stock is also wonderful. If you are making vegetable beef soup you will probably need the full 8 cups.
a handful or so of fresh green beans
1 can of diced organic tomatoes
1 can or 1/2 tube of tomato paste
2 teaspoons or more of dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of small gluten free noodles to thicken soup - I use small shells made from quinoa
1. Place all ingredients in a large soup pot from soup bone to tomatoes. Add the water and turn the heat to high.
2. Once the broth begins to heat up add the tomato paste and mix into the soup. Next, add the basil and the salt and pepper to taste. Once the soup begins to boil, turn down to simmer, cover** and leave it alone to cook all day - you can get away with four or five hours but I like to put it on in the morning and let it cook about eight hours***.
3. About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, taste and adjust seasonings. Don't be afraid to add more salt, pepper and basil at this point. Add about a handful or so of the noodles and you are ready to eat once they are cooked.
*To make vegetable beef soup use about one pound of beef stew meat. Cut the stew meat into smaller piece - no more than one inch but preferably a little smaller. Next, you will want to brown the stew meat. So, place the pieces in about a tablespoon of oil over medium heat and brown both sides without cooking through. Browning is intended to preserve the juices inside the meat without cooking through - should only take a couple of minutes. The browned meat goes in with the rest of the vegetables.
**I usually let the soup go for about 30 minutes to thicken and then cover.
***Feel free to check the broth at some point during the day - sometimes I like to add a little more tomato paste if I want more tomato flavor but that's a personal taste.
This soup gets better with age. We just love the leftovers!