True confession: I am not a great cook. I eat the same thing for breakfast almost everyday (oatmeal with a PB-slathered banana on the side and roughly a pitcher of coffee, thankyouverymuch) and for lunch I either get takeout or make some kind of random protein+pita+leaves combination on my office desk. Dinner is whatever I can muster the energy to shovel into my mouth.

Okay, maybe that’s unfair. My diet is quite healthy and even pretty tasty, I just don’t often combine ingredients over a stove and prepare legitimate dishes. There is one thing, however, that I have mastered: the art of the improv soup.

I make soup all the time during the colder months, and I almost never follow a recipe. In fact, I almost never know what’s going into the soup until it’s done, period. My soups are made from whatever vegetables I have laying around, combined with onions, garlic, and broth. They’re always delicious and usually filling.

My latest creation, which I made a couple of nights ago, was dubbed “poop soup” by my bf (because, apparently, he’s a 13-year-old boy), and I’ll admit the addition of black beans and corn did give it a sort of…well…regurgitated kind of look–though no more than your average chili, which is kind of how it tastes (only way the hell better). I renamed it kitchen sink soup, because it’s got everything except the kitchen sink, plus enough veggie variety to make it a complete and nourishing one-pot meal.

First, I chopped up:

  • 1/2 a medium cooking onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch of kale (leaves only)
  • 2 gigantic carrots
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups white button mushrooms
  • approx. 1/2 cup fresh dill

I sauteed the onions and garlic for a bit, then added everything else to the same pot (with salt and pepper to taste).:

After the veggies had reduced significantly (15 minutes or so), I added a can of black beans:

Then, I added some veggie broth (approximately 4 cups) and a can of corn.  I covered the pot and simmered my ingredients for about 20 minutes. Then I busted out my hand blender and pureed the veggie and broth mix until it had roughly the consistency of a nice vegetarian chili: thick and well-textured, but not overly chunky. I then served the soup in my favourite soup bowl with a few thin slices of raclette cheese melted on top, and garnished with a couple sprigs of dill. It was devastatingly delicious: sweet and complex in flavour, hearty, and–dare I say–something I would even pay to eat in a restaurant. To think that the entire pot cost just around $5 to make, and provided around four meals worth of food for Jon and I! Unscientific and amateur, yes, but also cheap, easy, healthy, and damn tasty. (See Mama, I CAN take care of myself!). Boo yah.