I love soup almost as much as I love Declaring World Peace. I do have a day job though and don't have all day to let pots of soup simmer about on my stove. So fast is the name of the game whenever possible. With this soup, you can go home, chop up stuff for 10 minutes, do a quick saute, and let the stuff simmer just until everyone is home and ready for dinner. If you are interested in nutrition facts, I ran this soup through the analyzer here.
What's in there:
2 T olive oil, use pure olive oil not extra virgin as nasty things happen to extra virgin olive oil when it is over heated (or use 2 T butter if you prefer, either will work)
1 onion, use your fave - yellow, white, red, or sweet and the size depends on how much you love onion.
2 celery stalks, chopped - do not throw away the leaves. If your stalks do not have leaves then get leaves from the other stalks. Leaves are critical to making an awesome soup.
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 cups salt free chicken stock - if you don't have some good homemade stock, use Kitchen Basics no salt
1 pound of red potatoes - leave the nutritious peels on, just rinse well and chop (remember it's for soup so don't make the pieces too big).
24 oz frozen cut green beans - you can use fresh if you know it's fresh. Check the beans. If they do not snap, they have been sitting about languishing on the grocer's shelves and much of their nutrition has simply vanished. Frozen veggies and fruits are just fine and as most are frozen immediately upon picking actually contain more nutrition than dubious fresh. Now, in a perfect world, you went out into your own organic garden and picked the beans this afternoon. *sighs and remembers times of gardens past*
1/4 cup fresh parsley picked from your very own pot of parsley, chopped
1 t tarragon, dried - or use fresh if you have a nice herb garden and start with maybe 1 1/2 Tablespoons of fresh herb. Remember, when I give you the measurements for spices and such, I am giving you starting amounts. The real amount may be larger as spices are totally to taste. If you are new to tarragon - use about half a teaspoon and add more later if you like it. Let it simmer a bit first before tasting and deciding.
1/2 t white pepper (trust me, it's better with tarragon than black pepper)
a few shakes of Tabasco sauce... or a bunch of shakes once you've tasted it and are adjusting the seasonings
maybe some salt if you just have to but really, do you have to? What did your doctor say about that blood pressure last time? This is why I often use Tabasco in place of straight up salt. There's only a pinch of salt in it and the peppers accent the flavors just like salt. A few shakes will not make it hot.
Easy Assembly Instructions:
Always prep your ingredients. Slice, dice, measure, and put all the ingredients together in nice little containers all lined up in order of appearance. Then, when you start cooking you don't have to worry about what you are forgetting. You don't have to madly rush about chopping the garlic which you totally forgot and is added so early on in the process. This is a most peaceful and mindful way to cook. As an added benefit he enjoyment factor is ramped up because you can pretend you are a famous television chef and that your many obsequious sous chefs have done all the work for you.
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat and saute the onion until it is clear and starting to brown up a bit. Add the celery and cook oh, another five minutes or so. Sauteing really brings out the flavors so do it. No cutting corners and just dumping the veggies in. Add the garlic and saute for another two minutes.
Add the stock, potatoes, green beans, parsley, tarragon, white pepper, and Tabasco. Bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered until the potatoes and beans are well cooked. 15 minutes should do, but it won't hurt it if it cooks longer. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You may want to experiment with adding other herbs such as Herbes de Provence or thyme.
With this soup, I Declare World Peace. Enjoy in the most mindful way possible.