Farmers’ Market Vegetable Soup

Preparation info

  • Makes


    Main-Course Servings
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

Get in There and Cook

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

This is a basic method for a hearty, peasant-style soup; you can use it with any combination of vegetables in season.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium-large onions, peeled, halved, and sliced
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, thickly sliced crosswise, and washed well (Leek Cleaning)
  • 3 carrots, trimmed, peeled, and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 3 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or teaspoon dried
  • teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • pinch of dried tarragon
  • 4 potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
  • 2 cans (about 14 ounces each) chicken broth, preferably reduced-sodium
  • 3 cups cold water
  • ¾ cup low-fat or whole milk, or more as needed
  • teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (optional)
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for serving


    1. Heat the oil in a large pot or casserole over medium heat. Add the onions, leeks, carrots, garlic, salt, thyme, pepper flakes, and tarragon. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook slowly or sweat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and release some of their moisture, about 10 minutes.
    2. Stir in the potatoes, broth, and water. Cover and bring to a boil; skim off the foam with a skimmer or large metal spoon. Lower the heat; boil gently, partially covered, until the vegetables are quite tender, about 45 minutes.
    3. 3. Remove half of the vegetables with a slotted spoon to a food processor; puree. If using a blender, work in smaller batches. Scrape the puree back into the soup, stirring to combine. Stir in the milk, nutmeg, and pepper; return nearly to a simmer over very low heat. Thin with more milk, if desired. Taste and correct the seasonings, adding more salt, herbs, and spices, if needed. If you like, remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the butter just over the surface of the soup. The butter should remain creamy and not melt into a puddle of fat. Serve hot, sprinkled with a little chopped parsley.