“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program. Today, educational aide Lisa Valentine puts a garden’s worth of vegetables into a bold autumn soup.
When lemons are the harvest, people make lemonade.
When carrots, celery, onions tomatoes, beans and corn are in stock, Lisa Valentine makes garden vegetable soup.
Everything goes into the kettle, even spinach.
“My daughter doesn’t like spinach, but she will eat this soup,” Valentine said. “Because the soup isn’t the flavor of spinach. So if you don’t normally like spinach, putting it into a soup is a nice way to get vegetables into the kids.”
Cutting up veggies and simmering them in stock is simple enough. Valentine said home chefs can make other moves to boost the soup’s protein factor.
“You can add turkey, chicken or beef,” she said. “You can put pasta on the side, you can throw barley in here. There’s already protein with chick peas and the kidney beans. Soup can be so much, especially when it’s a vegetable soup. Whatever vegetables you love can be used, they don’t have to specifically be my vegetables. Most of mine came from the garden.”
The soup can be served with warm Italian bread or pieces of crispini, traditional Mediterranean flat bread.
“Any kind of pasta will do, but if you put it into the broth, it’s going to absorb your broth and your broth is going to be gone,” Valentine said. “I usually leave mine on the side, and put the soup on top. It can make for a nice hearty dish.”
Garden Vegetable Soup
2 quarts stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
2 medium onions
1 large carrot
4 stalks celery
2 tablespoons canola oil
8 ounces spinach (frozen)
15 ounces corn (canned or frozen)
15 ounces green beans (canned or frozen)
15 ounces chick peas
15 ounces black beans (or kidney beans), drained
30 ounces tomatoes, diced (fresh or canned)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
1 zucchini, diced
In large pot, add chicken stock and place on low heat.
In sauté pan, sauté onions, carrots and celery in oil until onions are translucent, then add to pot. Add all ingredients except zucchini. Cook until almost tender, then add zucchini to pot. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Total simmering time is 20 minutes.
Variation — add 2 cups cooked chicken, turkey or beef. May be served over cooked pasta or rice.