In Chef Elaine's opinion (which is undoubtedly correct) there is nothing better than hot homemade soup when the outside temps take their yearly dive. Her vegetable soup starts with sauteeing diced onions and minced garlic in olive oil then adding unsalted chicken stock. Stock is heartier than broth and using the unsalted variety allows her to control the overall saltiness. We both prefer to cook without salt and add it at the very end, usually a couple of cranks at the dining room table.
She adds about half a head of sliced cabbage, diced San Marzano tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Then the creativity begins. Or better said, what do we have hanging around in the fridge or cabinets? For this version, she added some frozen corn she had shucked over the summer, leftover meatballs, and for the first, but not last time, some frozen homemade pesto. The pesto gave this soup a wonderfully spicy kick.
After the soup simmers away for about an hour and twenty minutes, she adds fresh spinach and cooks for another ten minutes.