- 1 to 2 Pounds Vegetables
- Aromatics, Such as Onion, Garlic, or Leeks
- Olive Oil or Unsalted Butter
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 to 6 Cups Low-Sodium Broth or Stock
1. Choose and Weigh 1 to 2 Pounds of Vegetables. I Had Quite a Lot of Vegetables in my Refrigerator. I Chose the Ones that Needed to Be Used Up the Soonest: A Small Head of Cauliflower and Some Carrots. I Weighed Them and They Came Out to About 2 Pounds, Although I Knew the Cauliflower Would Break Down to Much Less When Trimmed.
2. Cut Up the Vegetables and Aromatics. I Chopped Up the Trimmed Cauliflower and Unpeeled Carrots Into Evenly Sized Chunks. I Also Chopped Up 1 Leek and 2 Cloves of Garlic.
3. Heat Olive Oil. I Heated Up About 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil in a Dutch Oven Over Medium Heat Until Shimmering.
4. Sauté the Aromatics. I Added the Leeks and Garlic to the Oil First and Cooked Gently Until they Were Fragrant and Soft, About 5 Minutes.
5. Brown the Vegetables. Then I Added the Chopped Carrot and Cauliflower and Continued Cooking for Several Minutes. The Vegetables Softened Slightly and Browned Around the Edges.
6. Season the Vegetables. It’s Best to Season the Vegetables at this Point, Especially if you’re Using Low-Sodium Broth. Vegetables Need Salt and Pepper, And If You are Adding Other Seasonings Such as Spices or Dried Herbs, Add them Now so they Flavor the Soup from the Ground Up. I Added About a Half Teaspoon Each of Cumin, Chili Powder, and Smoked Paprika.
7. Add the Broth. Add 4 to 6 Cups of Broth and Bring to a Simmer. Add a Sprig of Fresh Herbs Now if Desired.
8. Cover and Simmer. Turn the Heat Down to Low and Cover the Pot. Let Cook for About 30 Minutes, then Check the Soup. Are the Vegetables As Soft As you Would Like? If You Want to Leave the Vegetables Intact, Take the Soup off the Heat Now. If you Want the Vegetables very Soft for Puréeing, Keep Cooking Until they are Falling Apart.
9. Taste and Season. Whether You are Leaving the Vegetables Intact or Puréeing the Soup, Make Sure to Taste the Soup as it Finishes Cooking. A Bland Soup is no One’s Fault But the Cook’s! If It Seems Flat, Add Some Vinegar or Lemon Juice. If It Is Too Salty, Thin Out with Some Extra Broth or Dairy.
10. Puree if Desired: Once the Vegetables are Very Soft, You Can Puree the Soup in A Blender or with A Stick Blender if you Like. Rewarm Gently After Blending.