Put It In A Pot And Boil It

Soup to me is the ultimate one-pot meal...simplicity at its best. It's a method that has been used to cook foods for eons...since we humans first figured out how to cook food in a leak-proof/fire-proof vessel over a live fire (some of the earliest vessels were dried hollowed-out gourds, and even dried animal's stomachs). In its most basic form it is simply a matter of putting food in a pot with liquid and boiling it. I am fully convinced that virtually any foodstuff can be turned into a delicious and healthy soup in very little time and with minimal effort (granting you follow a few basic culinary techniques). And the best part is the leftovers...I like to make more than needed and the flavors taste better the next day. Anyhow, this is how I made mine.

Here's some of the ingredients I had in my fridge.

I diced them to relatively the same size. Then I sweat them in a little olive oil (meaning I cooked them over low heat with a lid on to bring out their natural flavors...a sort of vegetable steam bath). The seasoning opportunities are almost endless for a soup like this...I added garlic and hot peppers (of course), but also whole fennel, ground turmeric, smoked paprika, and a little gray sea salt.

I then added broth. You can use water in place of the broth, but I wanted a meaty flavor without adding actual meat, so I used a combination of chicken and lamb broth (which I had in the freezer...otherwise I probably would have used water). Anyhow, it simmered for about 1/2 hour and tastes delicious. It was really hearty and more of a vegetable stew; I could have added more broth or a little water to thin it, but it was delicious as it was. With a few slices of homemade bread and a pear it was a complete meal (click on the below photo for a larger image...but be forewarned, it may make you salivate).


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