Gardener Soup

The soup was a HUGE hit with the gardeners this year. Try it.

Sorry for the ridunculous photo of an empty soup pot but this is all that is left.  

So, here's the story.  I made two batches of soup to feed the gardeners at the Alpharetta Community Garden workday on Saturday.  The first soup was the enormously complex and rather expensive "Fall Squash and Shiitake Mushroom Soup" that was so popular at the workday last year. There's no not loving this one....the earthy shiitake shrooms, the creamy texture, the butternut squash, the hint of brandy.  

The other soup was what you see above, in remnant form, and was not from a recipe but was simply a re-creation of the great soup my boss made on Friday for the horticulture staff at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  I didn't follow a recipe for this one.  I just threw together what I remembered to be in this soup.  It was my vegetarian offering since some of the gardeners at the Alpharetta Community Garden prefer this.  Well, turns out, this was the big hit- and super easy and inexpensive. So much for shiitake mushrooms and brandy.

OK....so here is what you do to make a BIG soup pot.  Adjust proportions as necessary.


  • 2 boxed containers Vegetarian Broth, not the cans
  • 1 lg. can San Marzano type whole tomatoes - I used Cento 
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  • 2 cups Butternut squash - I used Trader Joe's pre-chopped in a bag  
  • 2 cups Sweet Potato - I used Trader Joe's pre-chopped in a bag 
  • 2 T. fresh Rosemary 
  • 1 cup of scissored (I hate chopping) Italian flat leaf parsley 
  • 3-4 fat cloves of garlic chopped, grated or pressed, whatever is your fancy 
  • butter - a little or a lot.  Who cares?  You only live once.  
  • extraordinarily generous squeeze of Sriracha sauce

Melt the butter in your soup pot.  Throw in the sweet potatoes, butternut squash and after a few minutes, the garlic.  Get a bit of a golden crust on all of this.  

Either chop the San Marzano tomatoes or run them through the blender or food processor.  I only say this because  I like the chunks of tomato to be small....and yes, the San Marzano tomatoes are special.  Really special.  Fresh tomatoes would be the only substitute.  Pour the chopped tomatoes and all the juice from the can into the pot. 

Drain, then add the kidney beans.  

Cook for awhile....let's say about 20 minutes... at a gentle simmer. THEN, and only then, add the parsley, rosemary and Sriracha sauce.  Cook at a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes.  Cook it longer if you like.  Like I always say in these food blogs....if you have the love you'll figure it all out.  

Well.  That's it.  

The Alpharetta Community Garden is a much beloved project of the non-profit Alpharetta Arboretum, Inc. and is near and dear to my heart.  Gardeners are awesome.  So is this soup.  


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Julie Hollingsworth Hogg December 09, 2012 at 05:10 PM
That's "Vegetable Broth" - not "Vegetarian Broth" Aargh!!


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