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Vegetable Alphabet Soup

This comforting soup is packed with vegetables and pasta with a base of rich beef stock.

  • Yield: Makes 4 1/2 quarts

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 1999


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces pearl onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium baking potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 9 ounces whole canned tomatoes, squeezed of juice, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried savory
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or red-wine vinegar
  • 10 cups Homemade Beef Stock
  • 3/4 cup dried alphabet noodles
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small head savoy cabbage, cored, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 8 ounces green beans, cut into thirds
  • 4 ounces fresh spinach, washed, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips


  1. Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, celery, carrots, parsnip, turnip, potato, and tomatoes. Season with the savory, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown slightly, about 30 minutes. Add the bay leaves, sherry, and stock, then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook the mixture, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with water. Add salt. Cook the noodles in the saucepan, just until they are al dente, about 4 minutes. Strain the noodles well under cool running water. Shake out any excess water.

  3. About 10 minutes before serving, add zucchini, cabbage, and green beans to the stock. Stir the spinach into the pot, add the noodles, and cook until spinach is wilted. Serve hot.


Can use 5 fourteen-ounce cans beef stock instead of Homemade Beef Stock.

Cook's Notes

Leave out any vegetables that you don't like, but remember that the yield will be lower.

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