Joyce's Vegetable Soup

Nourishing thick soup made in a pressure cooker

I remember my Mum making this soup back when I was a teenager; it was a staple in our house, when my parents were struggling to make ends meet.

Joyces Vegetable Soup - thick and nourishing...

If you have your woodstove going, and a pressure cooker, this is great soup to have simmering for a bit.  It's got some main ingredients, and then, like all soups, you can add your own special touches.

There are several ingredients that are standard; onions, chopped; leeks, celery, carrots and then the rest of it is up to you. Soften these in coconut oil or butter, melted, then add the rest of your ingredients.

Lentils and split peas are for adding bulk and fiber, of course, but they also act as thickening agents.

Herbs used can be fresh picked, or dried. I routinely use an Italian blend of thyme, sage, basil and oregano. Some kind of boullion, Oxo, Knorr or other brand will add flavor too. If it's powdered, simply sprinkle it on top, then stir it in.  If you have cubes, dilute them with water, and add that.

Add water to cover all the vegetables, stir well, and put the lid on.

Joyces vegetable soup ingredients

A pressure cooker is not essential, but it sure saves some time.  This one has a button that pops up when the pressure is built up enough. 

Cooking the same soup in a regular pan will take hours; a pressure cooker cuts that time by a huge margin.  I cook soup like this in a half hour, depending on the ingredients.

Pressure cooker - note red button has popped up to prevent the lid being removed while cooking.

This is basically a 'throw it all into one pot and simmer for a while' recipe.  The trick is to add enough water; if you don't, and you have put in too much dried peas and lentils, it won't have enough water to cook and will burn on the bottom of the pan.  All things in moderation. 

Leave the pan to cool overnight if you can stand it, then reheat, enjoy with crusty bread or crackers. Letting it cool then reheating it makes all the difference in the taste.

Options; use what you have in the fridge that need to be used up. 

Beets will make it red, which may or may not be what you like. 

Beans, either green beans or canned baked beans might just add that little bit extra. 

Stock made from bones, or purchased, make it a deeper flavor, and adding some liquid smoke helps to make everything meld together.

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