1. Saute one diced onion, with a pinch of salt and pepper, in 2 T of extra virgin olive oil for 5-10 minutes, until soft. Optional additions: chopped garlic, ginger, leeks, fennel, celery
2. Add your chopped vegetables or legumes. I usually eyeball the quantity, it's about 3 C. or 2 packages of frozen vegetables or 2 cans of beans
3. Add spices (e.g. curry powder, ground ginger, dried herbs, rosemary, thyme), around 2 T. Plus, I almost always add a dash of cayenne pepper.
4. Next, cover the vegetables with about 3 C. of chicken stock or water and bring to a boil
5. Once boiling, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes
6. Add any fresh herbs (mint, parsley, cilantro) and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. (If you don't have an immersion blender, get one!! In the meantime, use a regular blender and puree soup in batches. Careful not to blend super hot soup.) At this point taste for seasoning and add more spice or salt if needed. If you prefer a thinner soup, add more stock or water until you get the texture you prefer.
7. To serve, ladle and garnish as much or as little as you prefer. I love creme fraiche, yogurt, herbs, lemon zest, seeds, nut, dried fruit, etc.
Some of my favorite flavor combinations...
lemon ginger carrot soup
curried mint pea soup
roasted garlic-rosemary white bean soup