Vegetable Soup

Yesterday I began making vegetable stock that ended up being vegetable soup! I saw a recipe in our local paper for vegetable stock that can be used to make other soups.  As it was cooking I realized that it could be eaten just the way it was! I made the suggestion to the hubby, and he said that the soup would be fine. What’s better for lunch on a cold January day than homemade soup, right?

It is a pretty simple recipe to make. In case you wonder at the odd amounts, I just used the fresh veggies that were left over in the fridge!  The hubby did the seasoning to his liking since he will be the one to eat most of it.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot.  I used about 3 tbsp.  Add diced veggies and stir until well sauteed and tender.  I cooked the harder veggies first, and then added the softer ones, like mushrooms, last.

These are the veggies I used:

1 medium onion

1 large bell pepper (I used half a red and half a green)

3-4 stalks of celery

2 large garlic cloves, crushed

5 spears asparagus

2 carrots, grated

handful of broccoli florets

1 small yellow squash

5 or 6 button mushrooms

Once the veggies were tender, I added about 2-1/2 quarts of water and brought it to a boil.  I think that just 2 quarts would be fine. I also happened to have a beef bone in the freezer, so I threw that in as well…just for the flavor!

Since the veggies are already sauteed, you don’t need to cook the soup long…just until it is heated well.  This is when the hubby added the seasonings.  I really don’t know what he put in, but I can guess that he included these:  dried hot pepper flakes, oregano, basil, and black pepper.  He is trying hard to cut back on his salt in-take, so he probably didn’t add that. Feel free to season your soup however you like!

Serve your soup with a sandwich wrap and enjoy!

Herby Ranch Dressing

Each Wednesday our local newspaper carries food articles and recipes in the lifestyle section.  Usually I give these a quick glance to see if any of the recipes or articles are of interest to me.  This week had an article on using herbs in summer recipes.

Over the last several years I have tried to grow herbs right outside my backdoor so that I can have fresh herbs when I want them. Even though we’ve had quite a bit of rain this spring, I have basil, parsely, chives, and cilantro already planted!  I can’t wait for them to get a little bigger so that I can use them in this wonderful recipe that was posted in our newspaper this week.  I believe it originally came from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman at www.foodnetwork.com.

1 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. buttermilk

1/2 c. sour cream

1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/4 c. Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives

2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano

3 tsp. white vinegar

2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

salt and ground pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste. Chill for several hours before serving.  Makes about 2 cups or about 8 servings