Sometimes you just have a lot of odds and ends of vegetables that need to be used up before they go bad, and that's when you turn to soup. I was in just this situation when I created this soup recipe. Luckily, it turned out to be absolutely delicious, with a nice meaty flavor from the bacon, acidity from the tomatoes, and sweetness from the squash. Obviously, this is the sort of recipe where you should substitute whatever veggies you have around that need to be eaten, or change the spices around to suit your taste.
Everything-in-the-Fridge Vegetable Soup
1/2 shallot, finely diced
1 slice bacon, cut into small pieces
1/3 (ish) of a small butternut squash, cubed
1 cup diced tomatoes
1-1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 cups baby spinach, lightly packed
1. Heat a little olive oil in the bottom of a non-stick saucepan. Add the shallots, and saute until softened and starting to brown. Drain on a paper towel.
2. Wipe the pan clean and add the bacon. Saute until browned, and then add the squash. Saute for a few minutes, adding more oil if needed, until it begins to soften. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, and vinegar, and then season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the squash is cooked through and the liquid is somewhat reduced.
3. At this point, you can puree some or all of the soup with an immersion blender if you like - I pureed some of it while leaving some of the squash chunks whole. Stir in the spinach until it wilts, taste for seasoning, and serve.