Time: 30 minutes
Okay, I realize that the only ABC in here is “O,” but I couldn’t find a decent alphabet pasta at the supermarket (although there are quite a few online if anyone wants to split a 12 pack.)
But still! This is homemade alphabet soup, the kind Andy Warhol might make a painting of. The kind that you used to spell out your name and the name of your cats with when you were a kid. The kind my mom used to put in an omelet! Although I still haven’t found anyone else who grew up on that particular delicacy.
It’s a really really really really really really simple, tomato-based vegetable soup. It’s not especially innovative, but it does exactly what Alphabet Soup is supposed to do — it hits the spot! Everyone needs a basic recipe like this.
I love using yukon gold potatoes since they don’t need to be peeled, but if you’re using russets then peel them first — the texture will be better. Also, if you’re like me and don’t have alphabet pasta, you can use tiny shells, wheels, orzo or macaroni.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced small
2 stalks celery, tops removed, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup baby carrots, in 1/2 inch slices
3/4 pounds yukon gold potatoes, in 1/2 inch dice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried small pasta
1 teaspoon agave syrup
16 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup frozen peas
Preheat a 4 quart soup pot over medium heat. Saute onion and celery in the oil with a pinch of salt until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds or so.
Add carrots, potatoes, thyme, tarragon, vegetable broth and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer, add pasta and cook until pasta and vegetables are soft, about 10 more minutes.
Add agave, tomato sauce and frozen peas and heat through (5 minutes or so.) Remove from heat. It tastes better the longer you let it sit, but give it at least 10 minutes. Taste for salt and seasoning, and serve.