We are nearing the end of winter here in Australia, but it is still so cold and windy, especially in Melbourne! I really needed some comfort food. Something I could dip my crusty bread into. Something that had taste and texture. What else could I do but a hearty vegetable soup. Don’t let this humble soup fool you. It may not be a simple ‘throw all your veggies into a pot with water’ soup. But it’s not difficult. Trust me. Follow the steps and this will become a family favourite for you too! My photos, as always, don’t do it justice. Even hubby ate it happily – and for those of you who know him, that’s a big deal. This is a chunky, hearty soup. I imagine it would be lovely with a ham hock stock/meat in it too, but I wanted something vegetarian, so obviously didn’t use it. Also, for the kids, I pureed it, that way no one was picking anything out of the soup or complaining. They all ate it happily, so that’s a bonus too!
I made a huge pot of soup, as I wanted to take some to my in laws who were returning from overseas, so this easily fed around 12 people. Feel free to halve the quantity, or not, and just freeze in portions for those nights when you need a quick back up meal.
1 large brown onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 stalks celery, diced
4 med carrots finely diced
1 swede finely diced
3 med zucchini finely diced
10 small potatoes (or 4 medium) diced
1 med sweet potato diced
small bunch silverbeet/spinach/kale chopped
2 spoonfuls tomato paste
3 bay leaves
2 tins chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed
In a large stock pot, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Sautee the onion and garlic until aromatic.
Add celery, stir to combine.
Add carrots, swede and zucchini. Stir, and heat through vegetables.
Add enough water to easily cover vegetables.
Add white and sweet potatoes, bay leaves, silverbeet and tomato paste.
Stir thoroughly, mixing tomato paste evenly through the soup and add more water if necessary, to keep vegetables covered.
Once soup has come to the boil, reduce the heat, and leave it to simmer until potatoes are nearly cooked through.
Add chickpeas, and season with vegetable stock powder (I use massel brand) and salt and pepper.
Cook a further 15-20 mins for the flavours to thoroughly combine and the vegetables to reduce down. Add more water if it thickens too much, to get it to the desired consistency.
Note: I used the food processor to chop every thing except the potato, which I chopped by hand, as I wanted those to be diced quite chunky. This makes it a very quick soup to prepare.
I served mine with homemade olive bread and hubby and I topped ours with hot chili sauce. Sooooo good! Enjoy x