Mix-and-Match Vegetable Soup

Turn your favorite veggies into a colorful soup: The combinations are endless!

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Photo by: Levi Brown

Levi Brown

1. Pick Your Vegetables

Prepare 3 cups total (use up to 3 kinds) from one color category:

Red/Purple:

  • Red bell pepper, chopped
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Beets, peeled and diced

Orange:

  • Butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • Orange bell pepper, chopped
  • Sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • Carrots, peeled and chopped

Yellow:

  • Frozen corn kernels
  • Yellow squash, chopped
  • Yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • Golden beets, peeled and diced

Green:

  • Broccoli florets
  • Peas, thawed if frozen
  • Zucchini, chopped
  • Asparagus, chopped
  • Leafy greens (spinach, arugula, watercress or kale), chopped
  • Frozen edamame

White:

  • Cauliflower florets
  • Garlic cloves, peeled (up to 1 cup)
  • Fennel bulb, chopped
  • Potato, peeled and diced (up to 2 cups)

2. Make the Base

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion or leeks and cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes; season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add 1 cup chopped peeled potato, then add up to 3 of the following ingredients. Cook, stirring, until the potato is coated, 2 to 3 more minutes.

  • Ginger, 1 tablespoon, peeled and chopped
  • Garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • Bay leaf, 1 whole
  • Thyme, 3 to 4 sprigs
  • Rosemary, 1 sprig
  • Cayenne pepper, a pinch
  • Grated nutmeg, a pinch

3. Cook the Vegetables

Add 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a simmer; add your prepared vegetables. Cook until all of the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes (if using peas or leafy greens, add during the last 5 minutes). Remove from the heat, discard any whole herbs and let the soup cool at least 5 minutes. Carefully puree until smooth with an immersion blender or in 2 to 3 batches in a regular blender (do not fill the blender more than halfway).

4. Finish the Soup

Reheat the soup, if necessary, adding more water if it is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. For a richer soup, stir in 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup heavy cream or coconut milk, or 1 tablespoon butter.

5. Choose Your Toppings

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with any of the following:

  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley and/or chives), roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts (almonds, cashews or walnuts), toasted and chopped
  • Sour cream
  • Pepitas or sesame seeds, toasted
  • Fried onions or shallots
  • Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Croutons

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