When my kids were little, and I asked them to list their top three foods, here's what they'd say: "Ice cream, pizza, and vegetable soup!" There's nothing super fancy about this recipe for vegetable soup, but when you land on a formula that works, whether it's a face cream that helps clear up dermatitis or a soup that gets kids to gulp down tons of veggies, you have to share! So here's the recipe my babies still love to this day, made with some very basic ingredients and massive amounts of LOVE. If you don't have these exact ingredients, substitutions are encouraged!
- 3T olive oil (I use garlic-infused olive oil)
- 2T butter or ghee (omit if vegan)
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 5 stalks of celery, chopped
- 6 small potatoes, unpeeled, chopped
- 1 cup shelled, frozen edamame
- 2-3 teaspoons of "Better Than Bouillon" (see photo)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 4-6 cups of boiling water
- one parmesan rind (omit if vegan)
- 8 pieces of kale, ribbed and roughly chopped
- 1 package of extra firm tofu, chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 2-3 teaspooons white miso
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste (but wait until all ingredients are added because miso and bouillon are super salty!)
Heat butter and olive oil over a low flame until melted, using only olive oil if you prefer a vegan vegetable soup. Add carrots, celery, and potatoes and stir to coat. Sautée for about eight minutes, then add frozen edamame and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once veggies are crisp-tender and still bright in color, stir in 2-3 teaspoons of "Better than Bouillon" paste, trying to coat all veggies evenly. Heat for about a minute, and then add vegetable stock and boiling water. Turn heat to high, and bring to a boil.
Slice a 2-3 inch piece of parmesan rind from a high-quality piece of cheese. (Keep this in mind when you finish a block of parmesan—we save our rinds in the fridge until it's time for Mama's Vegetable Soup.) Drop it in while the soup comes to a boil—you'll fish it out just before serving. If you're vegan, skip this step!
After boiling, allow soup to simmer for at least 15 minutes, up to 30 if time allows. About 5 minutes before serving, stir in the chopped kale and tofu, being careful to stir gently so you don't mash up all the tofu chunks.
Just before serving, turn off the heat and stir in the miso and lemon juice, making sure the miso gets fully dissolved and dispersed. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese if desired. (This will remind you to fish out the rind!) Obviously, a million substitutions are possible here. Chickpeas, broccoli florets, sweet potatoes—whatever you have on hand. Sometimes I stir in frozen brown rice or quinoa, and it's a hearty meal.
With love and a belly full of vegetables,