Poor Man’s Soup is a budget-friendly recipe that tastes like a million bucks! Root vegetables are simmered in a vegetable broth with simple seasonings; a humble soup best served with bread for a wholesome, easy dinner.
A few years back, I posted a recipe called Poor Man’s Pasta. That particular recipe garnered more emails from readers than any other recipe in the history of Lord Byron’s Kitchen. It was also the one recipe that McKenna has not stopped talking about. She loved that pasta dish so much! That reminds me, I should make it again for her soon. Those photos could really use some updating too!
At first, I felt a little worried – and almost a little guilty too – about posting a recipe with that title. I was worried that readers might think that I was suggesting that pasta and peas were foods meant for those of us who are on a limited income. That was most certainly not my intention. I intended for the title of the recipe to suggest that the ingredients were inexpensive and readily available just about anywhere.
Luckily, my readers embraced the recipe and it’s title, so I’m back to it again with this Poor Man’s Soup recipe. Again, I’ve decided on the title for the reason that the ingredients used are simple, cheap ingredients. And, to be completely honest, dishes like this were common among the less fortunate in years past. I’m in my early 40s and I can remember a time or two in my lifetime that my parents fed our family of five with simple dishes like this. And, we knew no better! These types of recipes are the definition of comfort food.
Root vegetables are no stranger to our home. As you know, Dear Reader, both John.e and McKenna are vegetarians, so we have vegetables – in some degree – every single day! (Except those days when we basically eat bread and cheese.) But, since I’m the main (only!) cook among the three of us, and since I much prefer root vegetables over those leafy greens, our meals often center around dishes like Poor Man’s Soup.
To be completely honest, I find root vegetables to be more versatile and more comforting. After a long day at work, I want a meal that’s comforting and eaten at the dinner table with my two favourite people. Soups, stews, casseroles, etc., they are all great ways to prepare root vegetables. There’s no fussing around and I can get everything ready and sit back and crochet for a bit while dinner is cooking.
In the warmer months, when it’s just too hot to make soup, that’s when I’ll spend the time washing and chopping, spinning and spiralizing, slicing and dicing, etc., all types of green vegetables. But, truth be told, I have made a pot of soup in August – humid weather or not – if I want soup, I make soup!
Now, this soup doesn’t have any meat in it, but you can add some if you want. Chicken would lend itself very well to this dish. If you plan to add chicken, I would personally opt for leftover cooked chicken breast that I could cube up and toss in at the same time I put the stock in. Or, I would grab a rotisserie chicken on my way home from work and shred it and add it in the last 15 minutes of cooking time just to heat it through.
But, if you add chicken or not, please promise me one thing – you’ll eat this soup with bread. The broth in this soup is probably the best I’ve ever had. It’s simple, but it thickens from the starchiness of the vegetables. And the garlic, onions, and bay leaves add so much depth to the broth. Bread is a must! And besides, the “poor” always had bread!
Oh, and before I go, the irony of using a Le Creuset pot in these photographs, which depict a Poor Man’s Soup, is not lost on me. About two or three hours after I finished cleaning up, I sat down with a cup of coffee to look at the photos. I burst into laughter when I realized what I had done. I was just so excited to use my new Le Creuset pot that John.e bought me for Christmas, that I completely overlooked it when I was thinking about how I wanted the photos to look.
However, now that I think about it, this soup is so cheap to make, that in no time at all, if I put aside the money I’m saving, I could buy another Le Creuset pot in a different colour! See, I’m thinking outside the box!
Poor Man's Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 large turnip, peeled and chopped
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Over medium heat, in a heavy-bottomed pot, add the onion and olive oil. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the turnip and carrot. Stir into the onion mixture and saute for 3 minutes.
- Pour in the vegetable stock, add the bay leaves, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Place a lid on the pot and cook for 20 minutes.
- Next, add the potatoes. Stir to combine. Place the lid back on the pot and cook for 25 minutes.
- Remove the lid; remove the bay leaves, stir in the parsley and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Serve hot with crusty bread.
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