The problem with going to the farmers market is that it is all too easy to yield to temptation and grab up way too many fresh vegetables than you can possibly eat in a week. What better way to take advantage of all that bounty than to make a huge pot of soup? You can eat some of it for dinner and freeze the rest for when you need a quick meal. Since the produce comes from the farmers market, each batch of soup will reflect the seasonal goodness of that particular visit.
This is not a recipe. This is just a blueprint for how to make a hearty vegetable soup with all that good stuff you might bring home from the farmers market. You should feel free to vary this any way you see fit to produce the soup you want to eat. I made my version in the slow cooker, so I am providing instructions for both slow cooking and stovetop cooking below.
Farmers Market Vegetable Soup
- Go to the farmers market and pick out an assortment of fresh vegetables. For instance, this time of year, you might choose sweet or spring onions, cabbage, tender greens, baby potatoes and carrots.
- At home, chop the vegetables into roughly equal pieces and toss into the slow cooker or pot.
- Salt to taste.
- Pour in just enough chicken stock to cover. (You may want to use more liquid if cooking on the stovetop, because some will boil away; use at least 4 cups.)
- If you have it on hand, for extra flavor stir in a tablespoon or two of pesto, a couple of rashers of cooked bacon or a Parmesan cheese rind (I keep them in the freezer for making soup).
- In the slow cooker, cook 4-6 hours on low, until the vegetables are tender. Add fresh herbs, pepper and other desired seasoning during the last hour of cooking.
- In the pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 30-60 minutes.
- To serve, garnish with croutons and/or shredded cheese. Remove the Parmesan rind before serving.