This recipe bears no resemblance to traditional “vegetable soup,” (which personally I think is yukky!) because there’s no carrots, celery or potatoes. That’s why I call it simply Garden Soup! The beauty of it is the wide array of fresh vegetables – so you’re well advised to make this soup in the summertime, when all these veggies can be found at your local farmer’s market. Nothing beats the flavor of vegetables that were picked this morning!
This soup is certainly at its best when it’s freshly made, but it can be refrigerated or even frozen and still taste great.
2 large tomatoes, sliced
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 minced garlic cloves
2 large zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick – “large” is a relative term, and some of these farmers market zucchinis can be as big as your arm! So go for 4 cups.
1 medium head romaine lettuce, finely shredded
2 pounds fresh shelled peas, or 10 ounces frozen peas
1 c finely chopped parsley
2 T finely chopped basil
2 pounds fresh shelled fava beans, or 10 ounces frozen lima beans
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
grated parmesan cheese, to sprinkle on top when serving
The key to this soup is to layer all the vegetables evenly in the pot (5 to 6 quart-pot), then let them simmer in their own juices. Layer them in this order: tomatoes (on the bottom), onions, garlic, zucchini, lettuce, peas, half the parsley and all the basil, beans, other half of the parsley. Finally, sprinkle the olive oil over everything.
Cook, covered, over low heat for 20 minutes. Do not remove the lid for at least 10 minutes. Once the veggies have released their liquid, add salt and pepper and stir well to mix everything. Don’t add water! Trust me, the veggies will produce enough of their own liquid to turn themselves into soup!
Simmer, covered, over low heat for another 20 – 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. Be careful not to overcook!