Instant Vegetable Soup

(Serves 4)

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about half a zucchini)
  • 1 cup shredded peeled carrot (about 1 carrot)
  • 1 cup shredded onion (1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup shredded white button mushrooms (2-4 mushrooms)
  • 1/3 cup minced scallions (about 3 scallions)
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) coarsely chopped salad greens
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons instant grits
  • About 4 teaspoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss (Gruyère) cheese


Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add all the vegetables to the boiling water along with the salt. Bring the soup back to a boil and boil, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the grits on top of the soup, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently for 2 to 3 minutes longer. (You will have about 6 cups.)

Serve hot in soup bowls, spooning about 1 teaspoon of the olive oil or butter on each serving and topping each of the bowls with a few generous tablespoonfuls of the cheese.

Reprinted with permission from Jacques Pépin Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pépin (Houghton Mifflin, September 2004).

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