kitchen sink soup

source: jen hatmaker

this is my new favorite soup. by itself, the soup is good, but as with many others, what makes it are the toppings. one thing i love about this recipe is how you can use whatever you have on-hand. it's great for using up wilting, almost-gone-bad veggies and pantry items, which is why i call it kitchen sink soup. i always have enough ingredients to make this soup, so it's become a fall/winter staple. it's also quick to make, so it's good for those weekday nights when you're out of energy, out of ideas, & nearly out of food.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cups coarsely chopped vegetables
{my favorite combo is 3 stalks celery, 3 large carrots, & 1 red pepper. i've also used turnip & mushrooms.}
1/2 cup diced onions 
{time-saving tip: buy already diced onions from the freezer section & use them directly from the freezer.}
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
{time-saving tip: buy already minced garlic packed in oil.}
3-4 cans beans, any variety, undrained
{i prefer to use all black beans & recommend using at least 1 can black beans with whatever else you may like.}
2-4 cups unsalted vegetable stock

- shaved parmesan
{do not skimp on this! trust me! buy a good block of parmesan from the nice cheese section & use a vegetable peeler to shave pieces for topping.}
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- coarse salt

1. in a soup pot {i use an enameled cast iron dutch oven}, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. add chopped veggies & onions. let cook 2-3 minutes until onions start to tender. add garlic & cook additional 30 seconds, stirring.

2. add beans. add enough stock to just cover veggies & beans. reduce heat to medium-low. cover & let simmer for 20-30 minutes, until veggies are soft enough to be easily pierced with a fork.

3. remove pot from heat. blend soup until smooth. {you can use an immersion blender, making this a one-pot wonder, or you can transfer it in batches to a blender or food processor.}

serve in bowls topped with shaved parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil & balsamic vinegar, & a good sprinkle of coarse salt. {a slice of nice rustic bread is a great addition, too.} and viola! the ordinary is raised to extraordinary!