I made this soup last night, inspired by the food waste article yesterday. I cleaned out my produce bin and basically threw everything in the soup pot. I had some chopped pork in the freezer to add to it. I diced all the veggies into small cubes, so that more or less of one veggie would go unnoticed. The whole family really liked it, especially my husband.
The ingredients are the ones I used last night, but you could add any vegetable that you might have on hand. Corn, spinach, chard, tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, peas; whatever your family likes and that you have on hand.
Substitute any broth you may have on hand. Plain water would be nearly as delicious, if you don't have broth or are making a vegetarian version.
By personal preference, I never peel veggies like carrots, potatoes and zucchini. I just wash and chop and throw in the pot. I found that I could chop veggies and add them in as needed if I prepped them in this order. The meal went together very fast.
Add 1 Tbsp. oil to a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. When heated, add pork and brown. Remove when brown on all sides and set aside.
Add remaining 1 Tbsp of oil and diced onions to pot. Turn heat to medium low, so the onions soften instead of browning. Work the browned meat off the bottom of the pan as they soften (that is the good stuff!). After a few minutes, add celery and stir. Add the zucchini and stir. Another minute or two, add the carrot, and then add the garlic. The timing and order is not critical, but worked well for me.
Cook it for another minute or so and then add in the liquid. Turn heat to medium. As the liquid heats, make sure the base of the pot with browned bits is deglazed. You can add the liquid in a bit at a time, if desired. When the bottom is clean, add in the potatoes and the red peppers. Season with spices and add more water so the veggies can move freely within the liquid.
Turn to low and cook for at least 15 minutes, until the potatoes are softened. Everything else will be cooked more than the potatoes, so the soup is done. Add more water to desired consistency. Serve with crackers or bread.
Mine was a brothy soup, with small veggies because that works better for getting the veggies into my kids without a fuss. I think this same recipe would make a wonderful pork stew, by cutting everything into large pieces and reducing the water.
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