5 Points Soup. I nicknamed this soup 5 Points because it reminds me of an intersection (5 Points) in Atlanta, GA close to where I grew up. It's a big intersection uniting 5 streets in a hip part of town.
At its base, this soup is an intersection of ingredients that marry so many wholesome vegetables together. It's versatile, easy, and oh so delicious. I make the recipe in a HUGE stock pock (link to the stock pot under the picture). This soup is a template to which I can create a new soup, as I thaw each frozen container and turn it into something different, by adding a different protein. See the recipe below, and all of the varying protein ingredients which allow you to turn this into a soup, a gumbo, keep it vegetarian, or not; the possibilities are pretty much endless.
A 20 quart stockpot is perfect for this soup!
In the summer this soup is a bit more labor intensive for me. I'll add links in my notes to the steps I use to take advantage of the summer bounty from my garden and the farmer's market. In the winter I buy everything frozen and use a giant can of tomatoes from Costco as the base for this soup. This is the quickest, least time-consuming method. However, if you aren't afraid of a little more time involved I encourage you to TRY the summer fresh veggies option; the flavor is exceptional with fresh produce. In the winter or anytime of year when you need time shortcuts (like all the time, right?!) ... grabbed the frozen veggies and get started.
3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ribs celery, chopped
Sauté the above until hot, then add a water to 5" of the top of the pot (do NOT overfill with water or you'll run out of room; you can always add more). This is where I'm admittedly more type-B'ish (a RARE occurrence I assure you!)... I just add a bunch of water to the largest pot I can use (20 quarts is a BIG pot)! Again - only add water to within 5" of the top of the pot. Add:
- 1/2 t. salt & pepper each
- 2 T Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 1 hour. Then add:
- 12-15 Med-Large Fresh tomatoes. If you are local, there's a great little market called Frank's Produce in Columbia that sells a box of second tomatoes for $14. I used 1/2 of the box for this recipe, using these steps to skin & seed the tomatoes. It was quick and easy. Quick option: 28oz of canned diced tomatoes.
- 1 quart or 2 pints of fresh chicken stock, or quick option: 2 15oz cans chicken broth
Cook 45 mins. Then add:
- 3 ears of corn, shucked & kernels off each ear, or quick option: 1 bag of frozen corn
- 4-6 carrots, chopped or quick option: 1 bag of frozen carrots
- 1 small head of red or green cabbage, chopped
- 15-20 pods of okra, ends trimmed and sliced in 1/2" pieces, or quick option: 1 bag of frozen okra
Cook another 20 mins. Then add:
- 1 cup fresh green beans, chopped or quick option: 1 bag frozen green beans
- 1 cup fresh lima beans or quick option: 1 bag frozen lima beans
Cook an additional 20 mins, then turn off heat source and let it cool before packaging for freezing.
Approximately 20 quarts ready for freezing. Grab a container, thaw and add protein of choice for a quick dinner. For a variety of soup options, you can add kidney beans, sausage, shrimp, or chicken. TIP: I freeze without the protein, then create variety within my dinners by changing up which one I add. This allows me to serve this soup to my family 2-3 dinners a month without complaint.
Sealed and ready for the freezer. I use 16oz Ball jars. Perfect for the grab and go lunch. I love the jars and Ball brand screw top plastic lids. Just remove the lid and thaw/reheat in the microwave for an awesome lunch on the go.
If you want to freeze smaller portions for lunches, another great option is the 8oz ball jars. The wide mouth because makes it much easier to eat soup straight from the jar. You can use the same wide mouth plastic lids for the 8oz and 16 oz jars.