Easy vegetable soup


Winter has officially set in in Dallas – I mean, twice in the past week the temperature hasn't gone above 55 degrees F. The drear has made soup a necessity, and this is what I've been eating amidst the chilly drizzle. 

There's nothing like making your own soup with raw vegetables from scratch. It's fresh and light and satisfying. I like the sweetness of carrots, especially with the burst of lemon juice. The key is to taste as you season with salt and pepper – you'll find your sweet spot.

The thing to know about this recipe is that the thinner you chop your veggies, the faster they'll cook – which means the faster you can eat dinner. However, if you're not really into the chopping game, you can purchase pre-chopped carrots, onions and celery – or "mirepoix" – at most grocery stores.

This recipe can serve 4 entree-sized portions. It's dairy-free and gluten-free, and it can also be prepared vegan if you use vegetable stock as a base.

What you need

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium sweet yellow onion, finely diced

3 small carrots, peeled and finely sliced into 1/2 cm-thick pieces

4 stalks celery, peeled and finely sliced into 1/2 cm-thick pieces

8-10 fingerling potatoes, sliced into 1/2 cm-thick pieces (optional)

6 cups chicken broth

Juice of 1 small lemon

Salt, to taste (I like about 2 teaspoons)

Freshly cracked white or black pepper, to taste (I like about half a teaspoon)

How to do it

In a large stock pot over medium heat, add olive oil and onions. Cook onions for 5 minutes, then add carrots and celery.

Cook carrots and celery for 10 minutes, then add broth and potatoes (if using). 

Crank up heat to high and bring soup to a boil. Once the soup reaches a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes (or until potatoes are cooked through, about 10-15 minutes). 

Remove soup from heat and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, tasting constantly.

Serve hot with fresh bread for dunking or sprinkles of chopped crispy bacon or parmesan chips. 

Store leftover soup in an airtight container for up to a week. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove.