Sometimes our bodies send us very specific signs in the form of cravings. For example, my body tells me that it needs coffee at precisely 9:45 am each day. It knows that I will only let it have one good cup of coffee per day and so it waits excitedly for mid-morning - so much so that my colleagues even set their morning routines by it. (It also tells me that it needs chocolate, cake and/or chocolate cake when 3:30-itis strikes each day and is rarely satisfied by the apple it is offered instead, but c'est la vie.)
Chop up any or all combinations of whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand and add to a 5L pot of boiling water. I usually start with a pack of vegetable soup mix. Today I also added 1 cup of chicken stock.
- 1 pack vegetable soup mix
- 4-5 litres water
- 1-2 onions
- 2-3 carrots
- 2-3 potatoes
- stalks of 1/2 a celery
- green leaves of 1/2 a silverbeet, shredded
- 400 g can of lentils, drained (chickpeas or cannelini beans also work well)
- handful of chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 500 g orzo, risa or maccheroni pasta
There's really no method to the madness of this vegetable soup other than to put firmer vegetables (carrots, onions, celery) in the pot first and progressively add the softer ones (silverbeet, parsley) while it is boiling, then finish with the pasta.
- Boil gently for about an hour or until vegetables are soft. Stir occasionally to prevent vegetables sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Add pasta about 5 minutes before serving and cook until al dente. (It will continue to cook in its own heat.)
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese to serve.
- Freeze leftover soup in meal or snack sized containers and defrost/reheat as required.