Smell has a lot to do with appetite and how much food we eat. Years ago, a friend of mine caught a terrible cold and lost his sense of smell. He didn’t lose it for a week or so, he lost it for six months. “I didn’t want to eat,” he admitted, “and had to force myself do it.”
The smoky smell of this nutritious soup will bring all family members to the kitchen. But the best thing about it is that it’s made primarily with leftovers. My refrigerator seemed to be stocked with a little of this and a little of that. Not one to waste food, I started removing food cartons from the fridge and vegetables from the bin. It was time to make soup.
Some vegetable soup recipes are tomato-based, while others are meat-based. Clear and cream soups are in categories of their own. My goal was to make delicious soup packed with vegetables and flavor. I started with half of a leftover onion. I found some leftover ham and pre-cooked real bacon pieces in the meat drawer. It was time to start cooking.
When you make vegetable soup it’s wise to cut vegetables about the same size. This original recipe may also be made in a slow cooker. I wanted soup for lunch, so I made it in a large saucepan. Because I had some ring pasta in the pantry, that’s what I used. You may use any small pasta of your choice. If you have other vegetables on hand, such as zucchini, throw it in the pot.
As long as you’re making soup, you may as well make a big batch and freeze some for future meals.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large rib celery, sliced into small pieces
2 peeled carrots, sliced into small pieces
1 pound 10-ounce carton unsalted chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen green beans
14.5-ounce can petite tomatoes
1 cup ham, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup pre-cooked real bacon recipe pieces
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup ring pasta
Pour olive oil into large soup kettle. Saute onion, celery and carrots over medium heat for about three minutes. Add all other ingredients, with the exception of the pasta. Cover and cook soup over low heat until the vegetables are tender. Add the pasta, cover and cook about 10 minutes more. Serve with French bread, crusty rolls or salty crackers. Makes about 10 servings.