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Vegetable Soup 101

This was a clean-out-the-vegetable-drawer-creation. Therefore, think of this as a guideline, not a recipe. Use whatever vegetables you have, and feel free to add spices or other seasonings as desired. This soup would also be great with rice or orzo (cook them separately and add them at the end).
Author: Nicki Sizemore


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion , diced
  • 1 large fennel bulb , diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper , diced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 medium yellow squashes , diced
  • 1 medium zucchini , diced
  • 3 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Lemon wedge
  • Good extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Pesto for serving
  • Maldon sea salt for serving (optional)


  • Heat a big glug of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat (you’ll want enough oil to generously coat the bottom of the pot). Add the onions, fennel and pepper (I usually add the onions first and let them get started while I chop the others) with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender but not browned. You can cover the pan if you wish to speed things up a bit.
  • Add the garlic, rosemary and thyme, and stir until fragrant. Add the yellow squash and zucchini with another pinch of salt, and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, to let the flavors marry.
  • Pour in 3 cups of broth and 3 cups of water—you just want enough liquid to aptly cover the vegetables. Slide in a bay leaf. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Don’t be shy with the salt; it’s not as much as it seems. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in a tablespoon or two of chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice (this will brighten the flavors). Serve the soup in big bowls with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a dollop of pesto and a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt, if you wish.