We’re working our way into the home stretch, peeps! Unless you started a Whole30 on April 1st, then you’ve got a ways to go still. But I bet the journey has been delicious!
Side Note: When I sat down to write this, yesterday’s post still said local draft even though I’d scheduled it to post… I reset it for 6:40, but alas, it is a day late now. :( I also just realized that even though my photos are centered when I dump them in a post, they’re not showing up centered on the actual published post. This is what happens when I am sans laptop and have to blog in the WordPress app on an Android tablet. Grr. I know it’s not a huge deal, I’m just anal.
Soup is one of the easiest and worry free things to make from scratch. When people lament to me that they can’t cook, I always start them with soup. Because anyone can cook, it’s just a matter of paying attention. Soup doesn’t need much attention.
First off, you want to choose your meat. I’m picking chicken for the purposes of this recipe, but any will do. Stewing beef is another fave of mine, you just have to make sure that your soup simmers for a really long time so that the meat gets nice and tender.
-Meat (however much for your portion, be it a personal sized soup or a big pot)
-Fresh ground pepper
-Lots and lots of veggies of your choice
Chop the onions while heating up olive oil in your soup pot. Keep it at a medium-low heat, and dump the onions in. Give a good sprinkling of paprika and basil, and sautee until translucent. Add your meat, and a sprinkling of sea salt and fresh ground pepper on top. Sautee with the onions until the outsides are browned.
This is the fun part. Add every single vegetable in your house. No combination is bad here. I usually end up with a blend of carrots, celery, cucumber, zucchini, radishes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, kale, chard, brocolli, cauliflower, and sometimes cabbage. Those are the main veggies that I have in my fridge at all times, and when I make soup, I load that shit up. The more the better. Just make sure that your pot doesn’t get more than 2/3 of the way full of veggies, you don’t want any boiling accidents.
A note on peppers and tomatoes. If you cook your soup for a long time, tomatoes and peppers will melt away. But their flavour will remain. If you want your peppers or tomatoes to remain more intact, keep them aside until twenty-thirty minutes before you’re done cooking and they should stay relatively together. But you won’t get as good of a blend of flavours from them disintegrating into your soup.
Once you have a good mix of veggies in your soup, give it a good stir and enjoy the aromas. I like to add some more paprika, basil, and some of the parsley here, and give a few stirs, maybe eat a few carrot pieces. But that’s just me.
Now you can add the water. You want to JUST cover the veggies. If you really want a thin soup, by all means add more, but for a nice ratio of water to solid, just covering everything works beautifully. Add some parsley, and toss in one or two bay leaves, depending on how strong you like it.
Now is the part that is a little tricky for some. Salt. Salt is an extremely important ingredient in soup, if you want any flavour, especially from the meat. So at this point in the game, when you’ve just poured in your water, you want to sprinkle some sea salt in and give it a stir. Taste the water. If it tastes salty, you’re good. If not, add more salt. Taste again. Continue this until you can just taste salt in the water. It seems like overkill, but as the soup cooks it will enter the meat and veggies, and spit out flavour.
Now cover your soup, set to medium heat, and go dick around for a few hours. The longer it cooks, the more the flavours will melt, and the better it will taste.
This recipe is also extremely adaptable to a slow cooker. Do the first few steps up to browning the meat in a frying pan, and then once the meat is browned, dump into a slow cooker. Do the rest of the steps, cover, and let sit on low all day while you’re at work. Or even better, all the night before and then all day.
Also don’t bother trying to resist the urge to open the lid and taste it. Its impossible.