cartoon by marc johns.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quick & Easy Veggie Soup

Close-up of finished product.
This recipe is so easy that anyone could do it.  It also tastes great, is healthy, and completely vegetarian, and very easy to make vegan. As we know, these are the kind of recipes I love most.  The hearty chunks of veggies paired with the tomato-based broth make for a warming, satisfying dish.  This is an easily adaptable recipe; feel free to add any vegetables you wish.  The same base is great with zucchini, kale, potato, sweet potato, beans, or mushrooms.  If you like spicy soups, add some jalapeƱo.  Try it out with your favorites.  I recommend pairing it with a grilled cheese sandwich for the perfect meal.  (Maybe try out this recipe!)  This soup is ready to go and full of flavor after about 20-30 minutes, but as always, the longer you simmer a soup, the more the flavors marry and the better it tastes.  Enjoy!

3 carrots, peeled & chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (I use fire roasted, but any type is fine.)
1 carton of vegetable broth (I use low sodium.  Can also use chicken broth if you prefer, but then it wouldn't be vegetarian.)
2 1/2 cups water
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3-4 sprigs of thyme (optional)
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups pasta (optional) (I just use any shape leftovers I have around)

1.  In a large stock pot over low heat, put a little olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  I like to put whole sprigs of thyme in the pot as well as the 3 tablespoons of just the thyme leaves.

Over low heat.
2.  Allow the vegetables and herbs to soften, stirring occasionally.  After about 10 -15 minutes (or longer, if you choose), remove sprigs of thyme.  Add the can of tomatoes, including the liquid in the can.

Tomatoes in.
3.  Stir and add a little more salt and pepper.  Cover and heat on medium for 5 minutes (should begin a light boil).  Then add the carton of vegetable broth and the cups of water.

Added broth and water.
4.  Cover and continue to heat for about 10-15 more minutes.  Soup should be simmering for at least 10 minutes.  

5.  If using pasta, add into the pot and continue to cook, covered, for about 8 - 10 more minutes.

Pasta in.
Serve hot.  And enjoy!  Makes about 4-6 servings.

Recipe adapted from Donna Hay.

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