"Once, in an earlier time, Every woman in America had their own way of making a basic Vegetable Soup from left over kitchen trimmings and scraps .
Every new American added a variation to the pot and made a richer, more enjoyable soup.Soups are the perfect food after a long hard work day and nothing satisfies the first pangs of hunger more than a hot,fresh,home made crusty loaf and soup."
Those new Americans were amazed at the abundance of meats in this country and gradually the food and soups grew much richer with the additions of beef,pork and lamb and after the second world war chicken in abundance .
Gone were the parsimonious portions of meats and the skimping on expensive ingredients.This was America,the land of abundance ,abbondanze !
BON APPETIT .
* Onion, chopped
* Garlic, chopped
* Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Butter
* Seasonal Vegetables, chopped
* Barley, Rice, Split Peas, and/or Lentils
* Stock or Water
* Herbs (Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Rosemary, Bay, etc...)
* Salt and Pepper
Sauté a chopped onion in oil or butter until soft. Add some chopped celery, carrot, and/or green pepper if desired/available, and cook until soft. Add chopped garlic and stir 30 seconds. Pour in stock or water, add herbs, and bring to a boil.
Lots of herbs will give you great flavor and help you rely less on salt for the flavor. Add uncooked grains or legumes if desired.
Barley or lentils usually take 30-40 minutes to cook. Add whatever vegetables are in season. Start with the slow-cooking ones like potatoes, carrots, and green beans, and end with delicate greens like spinach and chard. Leftover grains, beans, noodles, and vegetables are always welcome; add them when the soup is almost done to avoid overcooking (this will cut down on cooking time for the soup). The more you add starchy foods like potato, barley, or winter squash, the more body the broth will have. Adjust seasoning and serve.
It may take a few experiments before you get the hang of this, but once you do it will become a winter staple!
* Toast old bread in the oven and then rub it with a cut piece of garlic. Place the bread in your soup bowl and pour soup over it for an extra-tasty treat.
* Add a dab of pesto or a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil when serving.
* Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
To make preparation even easier, do not sauté anything; just heat broth and add the onion, garlic, and other veggies.
Save vegetable trimmings (tough ends, peelings, etc.) And simmer them in water to make your own broth.