Vegetable soup is prepared using vegetables and leaf vegetables as main ingredients. Some fruits can also be used, such as tomato, squash, and others. Vegetable soup can be prepared as a stock- or cream-based soup. Basic ingredients in addition to vegetables can include beans, tofu, noodles and pasta, chicken, vegetable broth or stock, milk, cream, water, olive or vegetable oil, seasonings, salt and pepper, among myriad others. Some vegetable soups are puréed and run through a sieve, straining them to create a smooth texture. It is typically served hot, although some, such as pea soup, can also be served cold. Vegetable soup is sometimes served as a starter or appetizer dish.
In central Appalachia, vegetable soup, also referred to as winter vegetable soup and country soup, is a traditional staple food and common dish during the months of December–February amongst Appalachian highlanders.
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