Yields about 2 quarts (8 cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups unsalted vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup romanesco (or broccoli or cauliflower) florets
- 1/2 cup Brussels sprout leaves (or shredded cabbage)
- 1/2 cup shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
- 3 tablespoons fresh chervil leaves
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high until it shimmers.
- Add the carrots, celery, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about five minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, salt, pepper, and romanesco. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.
- Add the brussels sprout leaves and shelled peas. Cook two minutes more.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the chervil.
- Before adding the vegetable broth, add 1/2 cup of dry white wine or dry sherry. Cook for one minute before adding the broth and reduce broth by 1/2 cup.
- Add 1 (14-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes (undrained) when you add the broth. Reduce the broth by 1 cup.
- Replace the fresh chervil 1 teaspoon of any of the following dried herbs: dried thyme, dried rosemary, dried tarragon, or dried Italian herbs. Add when you add the broth. Replace the fresh garlic with one teaspoon of garlic powder and add it when you add the stock.
- Add 1 (14-ounce) can of drained chickpeas, kidney beans, or lentils when you add the romanesco.
- Replace the Brussels sprout leaves with 1 cup of shredded cabbage from a pre-bagged salad coleslaw blend.
- Keep the carrots, onion, and celery as the soup base but add any vegetables that are seasonably available. For example, replace the romanesco, Brussels sprout leaves, and peas with 2 cups of chopped zucchini and summer squash or pattypan squash in the summer. Add when you add the broth and simmer until soft, about five minutes.
- Add 8 ounces of extra-firm tofu, cubed, when you add the romanesco or broccoli.
- Add some heat by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes when you add the broth.
This stores well in the fridge or freezer.
- Store tightly sealed in the fridge for up to three days.
- Store in 1 1/2 to 2 cup serving sizes in the freezer in airtight freezer containers for up to six months and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.