Context: I am very good at making food from "nothing." Give me your wilty vegetables and whatever has been in your freezer for years, and I can probably make a pretty bomb soup out of it. It's easy! Pro tip: it's even easier if you always have cans of diced tomatoes on hand. Or jars, if you are cool and can your own vegetables. I don't. I am lazy, and also very bad at gardening.
Specifics (of the recipe): Because there are a lot of vegetables I'm not allowed to eat (I often can't even use garlic or onions) on my diet, I have to rely a bit more on meat. I used a homemade beef bone broth along with the diced tomatoes here. I prefer a chicken broth for non-phở type soups (you can't beat beef broth for phở, mmmmm) but the whole point is to use what you've got! Except when what you've got is cucumbers. I've never tried it, but it can't be good. Don't use cucumbers, only use broccoli if that's a thing you imagine liking in a soup, and DEFINITELY DON'T USE frozen butternut squash. Don't even buy it. It's awful. So slimy, like slugs.
You can add a bay leaf and whatever spices you want, but I usually keep stone soup real basic. I added barley this time, because when I'm on my gut antibiotics I can eat whatever I dang well please. Barley is delicious and has almost-meat-levels of protein?? But don't use barley if you have celiac. It's got hella gluten in it. :(
Take-away: This was really fun to do! The vegetables turned out super cute! The lettering ended up being a pain, because my Monoprice tablet is old and junky and the pressure sensitivity works in spurts. I don't think I left myself enough room for text, either, and was too lazy (ahem, as I said) to futz with the layers to cut things and move them around to give me more. I think I should try doing more of these, like for my family's famous pierogi recipe, but I need to figure out how to format it so I'm not drawing myself into corners or having to switch between drawing and lettering for each individual step/panel.
Oh, right, and the soup was delish. *chef's kiss*