What looked good at the market? Kale, squash? Great! Use them. Cabbage, chard? Great! Use those instead — or also. As long as the vegetables are good, the soup will be great.
Sharp knife (adult needed)
Large, heavy-bottomed pot with lid
Wash your hands with soap and water, then gather all your equipment and ingredients and put them on a counter.
- Put the pot onto the stove and turn the heat to medium. When the pot is hot, add the oil.
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they are tender.
- Add the garlic and remaining vegetables and cook, stirring once, until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the barley or rice, broth, and water, then simmer the soup, covered, until all the vegetables are cooked and the barley or rice is tender, about 45 minutes.
- Add the beans (and the cooked grains or pasta, if you’re using them), simmer another 15 minutes, then carefully taste the soup. Does it need salt? Add a pinch if it does.
- Serve garnished with a teaspoonful of olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Use frozen corn and/or peas for some of the vegetables, and add them when you add the beans.
We think of celery leaves as a free bonus herb that comes with our bunch of celery! Chop them up and add them to whatever dish you’re using the celery in. They add tons of flavor.