It’s getting hot in here. Well, not in here—this series of tubes that we call “the internets”—but out there, on the other side of my window, where tulips and blossoms are beginning to bud under the warm New Jersey sun.
Tomorrow’s temperature may reach 80, there’s a warm breeze blowing through the blossoming trees, and the kids at my school have a terrible case of Spring Fever. There’s no denying it—Spring has sprung.
So, why in the world would I give you a hearty, warm, comforting vegetable soup? I could make up excuses that I’m trying to reach out to those poor saps in Canada or wherever it is that snow is still on the ground. Or I could tell you I’m sick and that’s why I made it. That, thankfully, is not true (I’m feeling quite great, actually, and so is Jim.) I could tell you that the vegetables that went into the soup were so good, so irresistible, that I just had to post the soup. That, also, would be a lie.
In truth, the vegetables in this soup had been hanging around the bottom drawer of my fridge for quite a while. I bought them, used some, and left the rest to twiddle their thumbs in the frigid air. I had good intentions, mind you, of lots of vegetable spring dishes. And then I got lazy this week, falling back to our old standards—red lentil dal, risotto, dishes that have me going to the pantry more than the vegetable drawer. I almost forgot about all those sad, bored veggies, and I would have let them wither and die had I not decided, with spring-cleaning motivation, that I would clean out the fridge.
We’re going away for the weekend, to attend Jim’s uncle’s photography show’s opening in East Hampton. I’ll plan it out so that we do next week’s shopping on the drive home on Sunday and making room in the fridge is the last thing I’ll want to do when we finally get back to the apartment.
The best way to use up all your idle veggies is a pot of vegetable soup. The more, the better—I used leeks, onions, parsnips, turnips, carrots, and potatoes. You don’t even need a recipe, just chop everything up, render some bacon in a big pot (or simply use olive oil), add your vegetables, saute them until fragrant and golden, and then add enough water to cover. The vegetables will flavor the water to make a rich, delicious stock. If you are using potatoes, add them in about 10-15 minutes after adding the water. Simmer until all the vegetables are done. Ladel into bowls and top with a bit of salted butter. Pretend it’s cold outside and enjoy with a good French baguette.