French Country Vegetable Soup

I like to sauté vegetables with spices before adding them to water to make soup. Concentrating the sweetness of the vegetables by sautéing them gives so much more flavor—between that step and the spices, you don’t even need to use stock. Stovetop pan roasting is also a way to develop flavor without over- cooking the vegetables. Another trick to creating a flavorful vegetarian stock is adding tomato paste and soy sauce. Both are rich in umami, which lends an almost meaty depth to the soup base. In this master recipe, limon omani (which is dried Persian lime) brings a welcome acidity without discoloring the vegetables the way fresh citrus juice would. It nicely complements the classic French flavors of pepper, sage, bay leaves, and thyme.

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