Growing up, my mum made incredible soups all the time. I never saw her use a recipe and they always turned out absolutely delicious. I just assumed that's how you made soup. Just throw what you've got in a pot, cook it, blend it (if so desired), invite random people in off the street for dinner and enjoy...
One of my favorite soups to make when the weather turns cozy is what I call Roots Soup. Basically, if it grows underground, put it in the pot!!
Don't follow this "recipe" verbatim, but use it as a guide. To me, cooking is about finding that inner confidence in yourself. Taste it as you go. Slowly add seasonings and see how it develops. Rely more on the natural flavors of your ingredients and enhance them. Buy what's available seasonally and seek out some quirky ingredients you don't typically use. Hate beets but know how good they are for you? This is your beet vehicle. So many flavors you won't detect them individually!! Love beets but can't get your kids to eat them? Throw 'em in!!
For my Roots Soup - my shopping cart typically contains:
a bunch or two of carrots
one large sweet potato
a good sized celery root (celeriac)
1-3 golden beets
Turmeric (peeled inch, sliced or a teaspoon dried)
Salt & Pepper
Ginger (a peeled inch, sliced)
Garlic (a clove or three, sliced)
Oil of Oregano (optional - only a drop or two - be careful, a little goes a long way)
Vegetable Bouillion (as desired)
Once home, I peel and chop everything into decent sized chunks. I make this a blended soup so an inch or two sized pieces are fine. If you prefer a chunkier / heartier style soup, you're free to spend much more time cutting all of your produce into more palatable shapes and sizes!
I have an Instant Pot and love cooking soup with it as I can chop, drop and go. When I come home later to an aroma filled home, all I have to do is blend, and dinner is served!
Heat pot with a little vegetable bouillion
Sweat the onions
Add chopped and peeled veg
Add herbs and spices to taste
Cover with bouillion
If you don't have an Instant Pot, let the contents simmer for at least 45 minutes. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will develop. Test doneness of all veggies and broth for flavor. Blend with a stick blender or throw it into a blender or food processor a few cups at a time. Need a little more flavor? Consider throwing in fresh or dried herbs before the typical salt and pepper. I love thyme in this soup too!
I love to serve this with a crispy baguette. Slice into 3-4 inch sections then cut each portion lengthways (top and bottom). Rub a raw garlic clove over the top and pop into a toaster oven. Once slightly browned cut into 1/2 inch sticks. If desired you could also drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle a little kosher salt on top. Also, a few sprouted pumpkin seeds scattered over the top of the soup add a nice element of texture. So good!! Enjoy.