Hearty Vegetable Soup

The broth is the heart of any soup. Master chefs know that the extra step of simmering stock with leeks, carrots, and onions infuses the base with deep, rich flavor. If you don’t have the time to do this step, skip the recipe until you do. The extra effort makes the difference between a soup that is out of this world and just so-so.

Serves 4

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups leeks, quartered, cleaned, coarsely chopped, white and light green

2 cups onions, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs thyme

1 clove garlic, crushed

10 peppercorns, crushed

1 medium yam, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, about 2 cups

1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced, ½-inch thick

8 oz asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces on diagonal

1 cup green beans, ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces on diagonal

1 cup peas

1 small head Savoy cabbage, quartered and sliced

Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzle

Flat-leaf parsley leaves

  1. For the broth: Heat oil in an 8- to 10-quart pot over medium. Add carrots, leeks, and onions, and stir to coat in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 30–35 minutes until vegetables are slightly cooked. Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic. Increase heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth into another pot. Discard the vegetables and herbs. Set broth aside.
  2. For the soup: Place yams, carrots, and a pinch of salt in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but slightly resistant. Drain.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of water ice. Put asparagus into strainer, immerse in boiling water and blanch for 1 minute. Remove and pour asparagus into the ice bath. Repeat with the green beans, 3 minutes; the peas, 1 minute. Add cabbage to the boiling water and blanch just until tender. Chill in ice bath. Drain all the blanched vegetables.
  4. Bring the broth to a simmer. Adjust seasoning. Add the blanched vegetables and return to simmer to heat vegetables. Remove from heat and serve, drizzled with olive oil and garnished with parsley leaves.