After eating far too much rich food over the Christmas and New Year seasons, it is good to give your stomach a rest before it is time to over-indulge again, during the Lunar New Year. This light vegetable soup is versatile - you can basically add whatever is in season, but the following is my favourite combination. You can either puree it or leave it chunky. I like to use a couple tablespoons of butter (or olive oil) to help the vegetables stew a bit, which makes them sweeter. If you are really ascetic you can skip the stewing process and simply boil all the vegetables together, but it does not have as much flavour. Vegetable Soup 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil 1 onion, peeled and diced 2 cloves garlic, crushed and cut in half 2 stalks celery, cut in 1.5 cm pieces 2 carrots, peeled, halved and cut in 2.5 cm pieces 3 zucchini or other small squash, cut in 1.5 cm pieces 250 grams green beans or long beans, cut in 2.5 cm pieces 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2 can whole tomatoes, chopped 1/4 head cabbage, chopped 1.5 quarts water Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste In a large pot, melt the butter and cook the onion and garlic together until soft. Stir in carrots and celery and cook, covered, over low heat for about five minutes, or until the vegetables start giving off some liquid. Add in zucchini, green beans and water, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add in potato, tomatoes, cabbage, and salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 15 minutes.