To make great vegetable soup, first make great vegetable stock. It sounds time consuming, but worth it as you can make an enormous batch and freeze it, then use the stock for all sorts of things.
Making a full flavoured vegetable stock is not quite as easy as a simple meat stock, where you could just plop the bones and a few bits and pieces of vegetables and herbs in simmering water and come back an hour or so later. You have to make a little more effort to coax all the flavour out of the vegetables.
The best method I have tried for vegetable stock is on the Stone Soup website here. I would double or triple the recipe (or more, if you have a big enough pot) and freeze what I don’t need straight away.
Now you have the stock, the next step is the soup.
The tastiest vegetable soup I have found is the Easy Vegetable Soup from one of my favourite sites, Clean Cuisine. I have made this many times and it is always a hit in our family, possibly because of the extra flavour from the coconut oil, lemon juice and tomato, and from finely chopping the vegetables. For the green vegetables, include whatever you have in the fridge – I have tried kale and zucchini, and baby spinach. Here is my Australianised version of the Clean Cuisine recipe (used with permission):
I multiplied this recipe recently for a women’s group lunch. I made it in a large cast iron pot and then transported it in the slow cooker to keep it warm. I used 5 litres of vegetable stock (which I had in the freezer from an earlier cook up), and doubled or tripled most of the other ingredients in the recipe. Importantly, I left the coconut oil at 1 tablespoon, only 1 lemon and put in 2 cans of tomatoes. Too much of those ingredients would have overpowered the soup. It was all eaten!