An Ode to Soup

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Fall is here, which means it’s sweater season, boot season, and soup season.

Don’t let anyone lie to you and claim that soup is not a superior food. Soup is the ultimate. After coffee, wine, and coffee, soup is the best thing to put in your mouth. If you are disagreeing with me, suppress that instinct, because it’s wrong.

What follows is a comprehensive list of why soup is the best.

  1. One good soup has all 3 (yes, 3) food groups in it: Vegetables, legumes, and grains. (Those other food groups don’t matter. #animalproductsdonotmatter #sugarisnotafoodgroup)
  2. Soup is the easiest way to get all of your nutrients (see above) without using multiple dishes or having to think much.
  3. Eating soup requires minimal mouth effort.
  4. Soup is warm and comforting. It’s like a hug for your stomach.
  5. Soup understands the real you.

In soup, we have a way to dump all of the shit we need for survival into one pot, wait like half an hour, then dig into a meal that (a) tastes good, (b) is good for you, and (c) is relatively low-maintenance. Seriously, what more do you want out of life?

The only thing that arguably out-soups soup is chili, which is also one of my favourite things on the planet.

OH and I forgot the best part! If you’ve made a soup with some grain other than pasta, you can freeze the leftovers and then eat them at a later date at which point you will shed tears of appreciation for the fact that soup exists and that you made it at one point so that now you don’t have to cook dinner.

The Basic Guide to Making a Vegan Soup that Solves All of your Problems

GET ON IT. Seriously. If you’re still buying soup, you’re doing life wrong.

It’s the easiest thing in the world. All you need are the following basics:

  1. Sautee a couple onions and some garlic in olive oil, in a large pot
  2. Pour in whatever broth you’re using – for tomato-base, I use a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes, 4 cups of water, and a vegetable bouillon cube
  3. Add chopped carrots and celery (hold the carrots for a more savoury taste – but have something crunchy in there)
  4. Wait a little bit while those things cook – like 30 minutes
  5. Add your grains (pasta is the best – but if you want to freeze it, use quinoa, barley, rice, or whatever else you have lying around)
  6. Toss in some softer vegetables – think green beans, bell peppers
  7. Add cooked, soaked, or canned legumes once 10 minutes have passed. Kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils – just make it high in iron, protein, and fiber, and you’ll be in good shape
  8. Add spinach or other soft stuff last
  9. Finally, season to taste. Go for the essentials (salt, pepper and oregano) or whatever else you feel like tasting

The best thing about this system is that it’s flexible – you can adapt it to whatever you feel like eating.

If you have a good source of bread, you might want more broth and less veg. If you don’t have bread, go heavy on the vegetables to keep it interesting.

If you’re freezing your soup, quinoa does well. If you’re refrigerating your leftovers, pasta will keep just fine.

Use whatever combination of vegetables makes you happy/is already in your fridge – just make sure you add them in order of crunchiness.

It’s seriously that easy. Just put stuff in a pot and wait.

My favourite combos:

Minestrone – tomato base, with carrots, celery, penne, green beans, red kidney beans, zucchini, and spinach

Lentil – broth base, with carrots, celery, small pasta or pearl barley, and green or brown lentils

Happy soup season!

– three

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