This is a no-recipe recipe. I regularly make vegetarian soup in two versions, yellow-orange or green. The soup is thick and filling. It can be used as a vegetarian stew served over rice or quinoa with a bit of shaved hard cheese as a garnish. The soup's taste varies a bit each time its made, but the basics of the recipe remain the same. Each time I make it it's delicious. This soup is incredibly versatile, it can be served "chunky" or pureed as well as hot or cold. Ingredients can vary (where indicated), depending on which vegetables you have on hand. —Ann Goldman
large yellow onion, diced
medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed OR you can use another yellow-orange winter squash
large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
turnips, peeled and diced (optional)
peeled and diced rutabaga (optional)
medium carrots, peeled and diced (optional)
small head fennel sliced thin (optional)
firm white or yellow vegetables
vegetable or olive oil
yellow or orange lentils
water, bullion or vegetable stock
or more -ground black pepper to taste
salt to taste (be careful, if you use bullion instead of water
cumin (optional, if you like it, use it)
I make this soup in a 3.5 Qt LeCreuset covered Dutch oven. The size of the pot creates the proportion of vegetables.
Saute diced onion for a few minutes until it begins to turn translucent. If you are using fennel, celery or other watery crunchy vegetable, saute for a few minutes as well.
Add remaining diced vegetables. Use vegetables you love, the mixture is up to you. The vegetable mixture should just about fill the 3.5 Qt pot. Saute and mix for a few minutes.
Add liquid (water, bullion or vegetable stock). Bring to a boil and lower flame to a simmer. Cover the pot. The cooked soup will fill 3/4 of the pot.
Slowly simmer for 15 minutes. Add seasoning and taste. Be careful about the salt- bullion or stock contain salt.
Add the handful of lentils. Simmer another 10 minutes. Correct seasonings. The lentils add a bit of body to the soup, but are not the primary ingredient.
The soup can be served at this point, or you can cool a bit and puree. Serve hot or cold. The soup will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It can also be frozen in the pureed form (I freeze in quart size zip lock bags and defrost as needed).