Nothing fancy, nothing new, just a beautifully basic vegetable soup that can accommodate whatever vegetables you have on hand. We've listed plenty of possibilities below, but the variations are infinite.
2 tablespoons cooking oil
2 onions, chopped
3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 3/4 cups canned diced tomatoes with their juice (one 15-ounce can)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 pound green beans, halved
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 ounces fine egg noodles (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
How to Make It
In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, green beans, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are almost tender, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the egg noodles. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook until the vegetables and noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley.
Feel free to mix and match vegetable combinations according to what you like and what you have on hand. Other excellent soup vegetables include: fennel, celery root, cabbage, parsnips, turnips, peas, zucchini, squash, shredded greens, corn, lima beans, and bell peppers.
Wine Recommendation: With this soup, try one of the lean and aromatic cabernet francs from the North Fork of Long Island, New York. These wines have less tannin than cabernet sauvignon and a distinct herbal, sometimes vegetal, flavor.