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Eat Your Vegetables

 

Since we have four teenage boys, we cook a whole lot of food every week. Most of what we cook is healthy, but we do throw in a few Dagwood-style grilled sandwiches here and there that might put that into question. Every morning there is a bowl of fruit salad on the counter and a big tasty dinner most nights for whoever is home. Every week, I also make a huge pot of homemade vegetable soup, as it is one of those wonderful old-fashioned things that is not only easy and fast to cook, it is also incredibly healthful. My goal with sharing this video is to inspire you to create your own version of this soup using whatever vegetables you favor. I tend use at least ten different veggies in every soup. I change it up weekly.  I also add a few kinds of fresh herbs, freshly chopped ginger and sometimes beans or lentils. And while I'm not offering a measured recipe here, I can tell you this, you'll be hard pressed to mess up soup unless you overcook it to a miserable mush or over season it, the later you can remedy with more water.

Start by rough chopping the veggies. I like seeing the bigger chunks of colors and textures in the soup, but you can chop to whatever size you'd like. After warming a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot on low-medium heat, toss in the onion, carrots and celery along with a hearty bit of kosher salt. I tend to cook the next veggies in layers,  starting with the hardest, like root vegetables, and ending with the softer things such a cabbage and mushrooms. After the vegetables have softened a bit (10-15 minutes) add chicken stock until everything is covered. Season with freshly ground pepper, red pepper flakes and kosher salt. I always add a large spoonful of Better Than Bouillon, which comes in many flavors. It's a concentrated stock, which imparts depth and flavor to soups or sauces (no, we are not getting paid for this). Cover the soup and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low, add freshly chopped herbs, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until veggies are fork tender. The entire process takes less than an hour. It's really that simple.

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