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Author Notes: 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
Serves approximately 8-10
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed OR you can use another yellow-orange winter squash
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1-2 turnips, peeled and diced (optional)
- 1 cup peeled and diced rutabaga (optional)
- 1-2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (optional)
- 1 small head fennel sliced thin (optional)
- other firm white or yellow vegetables
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 1-2 handfuls yellow or orange lentils
- 1.5 quarts water, bullion or vegetable stock
- 1/2 teaspoon or more -ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- salt to taste (be careful, if you use bullion instead of water
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional, if you like it, use it)
- 2-3 bay leaves (optional, if you like it, use it)
- 1-2 stalks celery, diced (optional)
- 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).
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe