My Ol' Ma's Vegetable Soup
8 cups (2 L) vegetable broth
A big onion
2 big carrots
2 cups quartered baby bellas or chopped portabellas
1 to 2 cups (240 to 480 ml) shredded purple cabbage
4 or 5 green onions
3 cloves garlic
6 oz. (180 ml) macaroni (fun shapes only, please)
A ton of fresh ground black pepper (always!)
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) crushed rosemary
1 teaspoon (5 ml) rubbed sage,
1 teaspoon (5 ml) tarragon,
1 teaspoon (5 ml) thyme
2 teaspoon (10 ml) basil
2 teaspoon (10 ml) fresh, crushed mint
Prepare all the vegetables: slice the carrots (not too thin, not too thick), dice the onion, chop the mushrooms, shred the cabbage, slice the green onions and mash the garlic. Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil and saute the carrots and rosemary on medium heat until the carrots are slightly softer. Add the onion, garlic and herbs and saute until the onion is soft and lightly colored. Add the cabbage and cook until slightly softened. Add copious pepper to taste (more is better, believe me).
Pour in the vegetable stock and crank up the heat to high. Add the mushrooms. Stir it up a few times and cook on high heat until boiling.
Once the soup has begun to boil, add the macaroni and turn down the heat to medium-high. Cook it until the macaroni is soft, stirring near-constantly (the third layer of hell is composed of stuck-on pasta, I'm told). When the macaroni is cooked, drop in the green onions and give it a good stir, then turn off the heat and serve.
Very good with crackers or toast. This was the one thing my mom would make from scratch when I was a kid (though the poor girl used chicken broth, she admits that mine is just as good).