Inspired by Molly Katzen’s Autumn Vegetable Soup (Still Life with Menu, p. 49), today I made Whatever the Heck You Have on Hand Soup.
I had a quart bag each of chopped turnips, white sweet potatoes, and acorn squash in my freezer. I had some carrots, celery, tomatoes, and red bell peppers left over from holiday party crudite platters. I had a bit of frozen chopped onion and some frozen chopped Red Russian kale.
I chopped up the leftover crudite, then sautéed the carrot, onion, and celery in canola oil until it began to smell yummy. Then I dumped in the turnips, sweet potatoes, and squash, added 3 cups water and one Garden Veggie boullion cube, and cooked it over medium heat until the turnips were soft. I stirred in everything else, plus three cloves minced garlic, salt, pepper, a little soy sauce, a bay leaf, and a dash each of basil, oregano (in place of marjoram), cayenne, curry powder, and Mrs. Dash. I turned it down to simmer and let it fill the house with savory goodness.
Despite the hearty aroma, the broth tasted a little anemic. I rummaged through the fridge and found a small amount of leftover homemade spaghetti sauce. That did the trick: I stirred it in, and the soup went from mezza mezza to bravissimo!
Now to see if the kids will eat it.
(Supper update: The kids liked the flavor but found the texture of the veggies a bit off-putting. A few minutes with the potato masher sufficiently broke down the offending chunks to please the diners’ sensitive palates.)