While I love this vegetable soup as is, you can easily add chicken or beef to the pan after you’ve cooked the onions, or you could lightly grill any type of seafood and add it the soup 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
- 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp dried vegetable, herb and spice mix
- 2 tbsp sweet paprika
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 500 g potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- ½ red capsicum, seeds and membrane discarded, diced
- 3 litres hot vegetable stock or boiling water
- 2 very ripe tomatoes, diced
- 500 g green beans, trimmed and cut into 3-cm pieces
- 4-5 tbsp ajvar (see Note)
- large handful parsley leaves, finely chopped, plus extra to serve
- 500 g button mushrooms, quartered
- sliced parmesan (or any cheese you like) and croutons or toast, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 6 -7 minutes or until softened and lightly caramelised. Add the garlic, dried vegetable, herb and spice mix, paprika and pepper and stir until fragrant.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and capsicum and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are nice and golden.
- Add the hot stock or boiling water, tomatoes, beans, ajvar and parsley and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.
- Remove from the heat and stand for 10 minutes, then ladle into bowls, scatter with extra parsley and some grated cheese, then serve with croutons or toast.
• Avjar is a conidment made from roasted red capsicums, eggplant and garlic and is available in jars from big supermarkets and delicatessens.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.
Photography by Adam Liaw.