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This is the first year we've had enough tomatoes from our garden to do much with. (Long story.) While I do not have enough left this late in the season to preserve, I do have enough to add to salads and for marinara sauce (raw or cooked).
Wondering what else I could use those tomatoes with, I remembered this soup recipe I've made several times that called for all fresh garden ingredients (for which I usually substitute frozen or canned for the corn, green beans, and tomatoes). Therefore, tonight's dinner was made using fresh, peeled tomatoes from our garden. The flavor the tomatoes gave was astonishing! Usually I have to add more vegetable bouillon to perk the flavors up a bit. This time I was able to get by with far less bouillon, even omitting the ones I usually add at the end of cooking. Wish I'd had all fresh vegetables to use, as the flavor would have been even more awesome. Maybe next year? Still, this is a most versatile soup that I will keep making, with or without fresh produce. Hope you enjoy it.
See attached Word doc below for PRINTABLE VERSION of recipe.
Garden Vegetable Soup
Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Alton Brown from his 2004 Food Network show “Good Eats,” Episode “Soups On.” This recipe is very versatile and yields to all kinds of adaptations with any seasonal vegetables desired. The flavor is best with garden-fresh tomatoes.
Pep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1. In a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat, add and warm:
1 Tbsp. vegetable broth, water or olive oil
2. Add and sweat until softened (about 7 to 8 minutes):
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks) OR 1 yellow onion, diced
3. Add and sauté for 1 minute:
2 Tbsp. finely minced fresh garlic (about 1 bulb – I use less)
4. Add; continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally:
2 cups carrots, peeled (optional) and chopped into rounds or half-rounds (approximately 4 medium carrots)
2 (to 4 cups) unpeeled, diced red or white boiling potatoes
3 ribs of celery, sliced
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into ¾-inch pieces (or frozen beans added with Step #7 – see note below)
5. Add, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer:
2 quarts water or vegetable broth
4 vegetable bouillon cubes (omit if using vegetable broth, rather than water; use less if using fresh, home-grown tomatoes)
6. Add; reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes:
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes OR 4 cups canned diced tomatoes (see note below)
4 ears corn, kernels removed (see note below)
½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
7. Remove from heat and add:
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 (to 2) tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use ½ to 1 whole lemon, juiced)
8. Taste and adjust seasonings, allowing 1 to 2 minutes for flavors to blend:
RealSalt® (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
2 additional vegetable bouillon cubes (optional--to taste)
9. Serve immediately.
· Substitute 2 cups frozen corn (thawed) and/or 2 cups frozen cut green beans (thawed) for the fresh vegetables. Add during the last 1 to 2 minutes of cooking to prevent overcooking, or add with Step #7 and allow hot soup to warm.
· To omit oil, skip Steps #1-4, combining onions and garlic with carrots, potatoes, green beans and broth, proceeding from Step #5.
· Three (15-oz.) cans of diced canned tomatoes can be substituted for fresh, although fresh, homegrown tomatoes add a remarkable amount of flavor to this soup.
· Add your choice of seasonal vegetables, such as sliced summer squash, spinach, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Add cooked beans, grains, or whole-grain pasta for a heartier soup. (See comments at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/garden-vegetable-soup-recipe/index.html for additional variations or ideas.)