I am going to be using the same mix of vegetables to create a range of different meals. I have found this kind of meal preparation has saved me hours in the kitchen over the course of a week and is a life saver when I really can’t be bothered to cook but still want a healthy, homecooked meal full of flavour!
Most of the work with any meal, is in the chopping of the veg so if you get that bit out of the way on day one, you can prepare a whole meal by simply cooking the pasta/rice/etc in a pan of boiling water, heating up the soup with the addition of tinned beans or lentils and stirring in a variety of different spices to mix up the flavour.
Some of the things you can make from this simple chunky, vegetable soup are;
- Lentil & Vegetable Bolognese with Pasta
- Bean & Vegetable Chili with Rice
- Sesame Tofu with Curried Quinoa and Vegetables
- Harissa Spiced Tagine with Chickpeas & Cous Cous
- Mung & Aduki Bean Casserole with Fenugreek and Spelt
I will be adding each meal to the blog over the next few days to show how you can adapt the recipe by adding a few more ingredients and swapping different spice blends to give it a completely different flavour.
It should take about 30 minutes to chop a large quantity of veg like this, just wash, peel, chop (trying to get the chopped veg equal size will ensure even cooking), add stock and simmer for about 30-40mins until all of the vegetables are soft. A pressure cooker will speed this process up – check instructions for cooking times.
The quantities you see below are for a very large pan which will make at least 5 main meals with some left over for smaller servings of soup, such as I have shown here, served with pesto and parsley. You can freeze any excess soup mix so fill up that pan! I used a 5L pan which fit the quantity of vegetable I have listed below. I allow the pan to cool, then I put a folded tea towel on a shelf on the fridge and place the pan on the tea towel. I then just take a ladle or 2 out for each meal, each day. This saves on having to divide the mixture between different containers for storage but it is up to you if you prefer to do this as you might need the pan for another recipe. If you do not think you will use all of the vegetables by day 4-5, divide the mixture into portions and freeze for later use.
Here is what you will need;
These will form the base of the soup.
Then a mix of what is available / in season. Aim for a mix of around 5 different vegetables such as;
- Bell or sweet peppers
- Sweet Potatoes
And for flavour and acidity;
- Vegetable stock
- Tomato concentrate/paste
- Tinned chopped or freshly chopped tomatoes
Chop the onions, celery, and garlic and fry in a large pan over a low heat for a few minutes until soft;
While the onions are cooking, wash, peel (if needed) and chop all of the veg to roughly the equal size and place it in the pan;
Now, crumble in the stock cubes and add the chopped tomatoes and paste;
Add enough water until it almost reaches the top of the vegetables, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Once it has boiled, turn the heat down to a simmer and leave to cook for 30-40mins, until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Serve with a spoonful of basil pesto, a pinch of mixed, dried herbs such as oregano and fresh parsley leaves;
Chunky Root Vegetable Soup with Parsley & Basil Pesto
- 5 sticks celery washed
- 4 small onions peeled
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large swede washed or peeled
- 4 large courgettes washed
- 5 medium carrots washed or peeled
- 2 red bell peppers or sweet red peppers
- 2 small aubergines washed
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 litres vegetable stock depending on size of pan. Use adeqaute stock cubes for this much water
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes or use fresh chopped
- 3 tbsp tomato paste concentrate
- 1 large pinch sea salt and ground black pepper
Extra ingredients - per bowl
- 1 tbsp basil pesto
- 1 handful fresh parsley
- 1 pinch dried mixed herbs such as oregano
Chop the onions, celery, and garlic and fry in a large pan over a low heat for a few minutes until soft.
While the onions are cooking, wash, peel (if needed) and chop all of the veg to roughly the equal size and place it in the pan.
Now, crumble in the stock cube and add the chopped tomatoes and paste.
Add enough water until it almost reaches the top of the vegetables, cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Once it has boiled, turn the heat down to a simmer and leave to cook for 30-40mins, until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Serve with a spoonful of basil pesto and fresh parsley leaves.