Adapted from A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider.
A composed soup is a broth to which a variety of elements are added. You can make marvelous composed soups by pairing broth with roasted vegetables, pasta, cooked dried beans, herbs, greens, or cooked meat, poultry, or seafood. The possibilities are endless; the resulting soup will be determined by the amount of time you have and what ingredients are on hand.
This method suggests the approximate proportions for a soup for 4 people. The quantity of broth will depend upon the kinds of elements you are adding. Soups containing a protein and some greens will need only about 1 cup broth per serving. Soups with starch ingredients like beans, grains, pasta, and root vegetables, which will absorb a good amount of the broth, need 1½ to 2 cups broth per serving.
If you don't have time to make a broth, you can just simmer low-sodium canned chicken broth with a rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, smashed garlic cloves, or herbs.
Garnishes (optional) singly or in combination, such as:
1. In a large heavy saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over moderate heat.
2. Add the additional components—vegetables, protein, and greens—in order, according to how much time they will need to cook or heat through.
3. Garnish each serving as desired.