I don’t often cook with a recipe. It’s not because I don’t like recipes, no. I love recipes and collect them by the dozen, but for most average days, things get too busy for me to actually read anything. Besides, I’m not often as properly prepared to cook as I should be. I wrote about my Recipe-less Soup a couple of years ago, but I like to revisit this one every now and then, especially because I change things over time, so the soup is a little different now. (And no, I don’t cook it in the pot shown here – I just take really bad, non-appetizing food pictures so this nice pot will have to suffice. Please imagine it is filled with hot, fragrant soup. Thank you.) So how does one make perhaps one of the most nutritious soups on the planet, and all without a recipe? Here goes!
Start with dried beans. Whatever beans you have. Mix them, use only one variety, empty your cupboard of any half-empty bags of beans are lurking there. I usually use a couple of cups worth, maybe three, depending on what whim strikes me. Rinse the beans and dump in a big stock pot. (I’ve been cooking mine in a NutriWare Whole Grain Cooker which works great too.) Cover with lots of water and boil until almost soft. Drain out the water and dump the beans back in the pot.
Now the vegetables. Chop some stuff. Celery, carrot, onions are my staples here, but if you have a few other root vegetables etc., throw them in too. Now take a whole peeled onion, carrot, zucchini, summer squash, etc. and wash and throw those in too without cutting them first. Cover the whole shebang with water, add a glop of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and cook it until the vegetables are soft.
Remove the whole vegetables and throw them in your blender with some of the broth, a scoop or two of beans, and a handful of fresh dark leafy greens such as dandelion, spinach, kale, or chard. Blend until smooth and dump it back in the pot. Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon, add a couple more handfuls of the leafy greens (chopped), and taste to see if you need more seasoning.
This is a very easy soup to make – because of the dried beans it takes a few hours of cooking time, but your part in all of that is just to stir every now and then. A big pot lasts us about a week, and it’s unbelievably healthy!