whats the best way to make simple vegetable soup?
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Above is the basic method. You can eliminate the tomato paste and barley or add potatoes (red or other firm, waxy potato) and/or grains or pasta. You can use all vegetable broth or stock or any broth or stock or use bouillon cubes and water. You can place some spinach in your bowl and pour the soup over the top and stir and serve. It's the basic method that's the start of almost any soup.
I love making a roasted vegetable soup where I roast red bell peppers, carrots, onions, parsnips, and butternut squash on a sheet pan. I then purée that with stock (either vegetable, chicken) or water. Serve with homemade croutons and you're good to go.