You can, of course, make this with fresh crisp veggies but it is a delicious way to clean out the fridge.

Dead Vegetable Soup

1 1/2 cups oldish onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup celery nearing retirement, chopped
1/2 cup little old sweet peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
dash of cayenne
bay leaf
1/2 cup carrots, sliced
2 cups elderly vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, summer or winter squash, leeks, sweet potatoes, eggplant, peas, green beans,carrots), chopped
6 cups stock or water
1 teaspoon tamari
1 tablespoons dry red wine
1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup cranky, slightly wilted parsley, chopped
freshly ground pepper
freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
freshly baked croutons made from stale whole grain bread, optional

Pick and choose among your favorite vegetables and spices--just follow the directions as to when to add them so they don't become overdone.

In a soup kettle, saut? onions, garlic, celery and sweet peppers in olive oil about 5 minutes, until they are soft and translucent. Add salt, paprika, basil, thyme, cloves, cayenne and bay leaf to the mixture. Add carrots, continue saut?ing about 8 minutes. Add remaining vegetables except tomatoes; saut? another 5 minutes.

Add boiling stock or water, tamari, wine, lemon juice and simmer another 10 minutes or so--until all the vegetables are tender. Top with chopped tomatoes, parsley, a few grinds of pepper, Parmesan cheese, croutons and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.