There's nothing more comforting than a hot bowl of vegetable soup. But buying cans of soup off store shelves can really add up. Store bought soup is also loaded with salt and other ingredients you just don't need. So, why not make your own vegetable soup at home? Not only is making your own vegetable soup healthier and cost-effective, but it's ridiculously easy to do. Once you start making your very own homemade soup, you'll be wondering why you ever bought a can of soup from the store.
You'll need to have a large pot to make this soup -- either a stock pot or a pot large enough that will allow you to make soup in it. You will need to heat the olive oil in a stockpot and add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Saute until the vegetables are soft.
Next, you'll need to add the frozen mixed vegetables into the sauteed vegetables. You'll want to cook them for a couple of minutes, but don't brown them. You may want to lower the heat to avoid overcooking. You just want the mixed vegetables, so they are no longer crisp and frozen.
Once the mixed vegetables are cooked, you can add your broth, the tomatoes (undrained) and all the spices except the salt and pepper. Add the rice or barley and bring the soup to a rolling boil. Be sure to stir it to ensure that nothing sticks or burns in the pot.
Reduce the heat once you have your soup boiling. Turn the soup down to medium or medium-low and let simmer, about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust spices to your own preferences. This soup will serve two or more people.
Your soup is now ready for eating! You can add grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, crackers, or enjoy with a crusty loaf of bread and some butter. You'll have enough for another person to enjoy with you. More people? The good news is this recipe can be doubled easily for families or unexpected guests.
Once you're used to how easy it is to prepare vegetable soup, you'll be thinking about new combinations that will reflect the vegetables available during the seasons. You can mix and match the type of vegetables for any season. Although fresh vegetables take longer to prepare, you can enjoy different types of vegetable soup year round.
If you're looking for a fresh combination for your vegetable soup, you can't go wrong during summer. Summertime is the right time for awesome new vegetable combinations. Think peas, celery, tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, summer squash, cabbage, carrots, wax beans, onions, and potatoes. Try mixing and matching different vegetables and herbs.
Fall is the best time for soup with its cooler days and terrific vegetables. Think peppers, corn, kale, carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes, beets, mushrooms, winter squash, pumpkin, broccoli, and grains for extra goodness. You may find that fall is great for chowders such as corn and potato chowder that gives you extra energy as the days get shorter.
When it's cold, you're looking for hearty soups, but you may be wondering what vegetables might be in season during winter. You can go by the old standbys of frozen vegetables, or you can choose the common winter vegetables of winter squash, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, beets, mushrooms, parsnips, corn, onion, and kale for a hearty combination. Springtime is an awesome time to have soup, but if you're looking for vegetables in season, you may feel a bit challenged. Don't despair. Springtime is good for asparagus, snap peas, snow peas, beets, potatoes, carrots, kohlrabi, kale, leeks, and radishes.
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