I made some smoked ribs once that I called the ‘best’. Then a week later I found a new technique that was really the ‘best’. So I made a rule that I’d not call anything the ‘best’. Well, in a blatant violation of that rule, this is the best vegetable soup. Why did I commit such a flagrant violation? Because I’m not going to ever look for another vegetable soup recipe. I don’t need to. I can stop after this one. Packed with vegetables, easy to make (ok, there’s some chopping involved, but I consider that cook therapy), and oh so delicious, it’s a real winner. And it makes a really big batch. Plenty for a crowd, and great for freezing for later.
You can omit any vegetables you can’t find or don’t have on hand. This recipe for the best vegetable soup is pretty forgiving. More is better, though, so if you have to leave something out try to find something else that can take it’s place.
Don’t be shocked about the amount of dried basil. It might seem like a lot, but this recipe makes a LOT of soup. I don’t recommend cheating on the basil. Add the full amount.
The Best Vegetable Soup
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 large carrots scrubbed, sliced
- 1/2 bunch celery with the leaves, chopped
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large green bell pepper
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 head broccoli small, chopped
- 4 large tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced
- 15 ounce fire roasted petite diced tomatoes undrained
- 15 ounce whole corn drained
- 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
- 1 1/2 cups frozen cut green beans cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 russet potatoes scrubbed, diced
- 10 cups water
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup dried basil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flake
- Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Working one vegetable at a time, add to the pot and saute for a minute, stirring. Then add the next vegetable, continuing until you've added everything up to the water.
- Stir in the water, tomato paste, bay leaves, basil, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes (you can leave them out if you want).
- Cover. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook 2 1/2 – 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and pepper. Stir and serve.
Nutritional values are approximate.