The secret’s in the sauce

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(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.)


6 responses to “The secret’s in the sauce

  1. Let’s see. I can be in your town in what… 4 hours? Less? I just baked bread. Be right there. Looks totally delish!

  2. What a great punch line!

    • Thanks! I was pleasantly surprised that they liked it as much as they did, once the texture issue had been addressed. They don’t often care for my culinary experiments, my tastes (especially in vegetables) being quite different from theirs.

  3. This sounds really good to me. I’ve yet to come up with a vegetable soup recipe I really love, so I will give this one a try. The addition of spaghetti sauce was inspired – who doesn’t love spaghetti sauce?

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