10 October, 2017
The Soup Loop – Vegetables With Pizzaz
I’m getting on my Soup Box today to talk about this scrumptious vegetable soup. It’s uber healthy for starters. It’s an easy way to use up the garden vegetable surplus (has reality hit yet that you planted one too many zucchini plants this year?). It can be adapted to suit a vegetarian or vegan and is gluten-free. It’s a do-ahead meal that freezes well. It makes an abundant amount so you won’t have to be a Soup Nazi when doling it out. It’s yummy served hot or cold. Well, are those enough reasons to read on? You betcha!
Love that I can take a nice large basket of vegetables and turn it into a delectable meal in minutes.
Original recipe mentioned cooking the onions and garlic first and then adding the carrots and beans. I changed it up to add the carrots and beans first and then the onions and garlic. Probably doesn’t matter, either way, I just wanted my carrots a little less crisp.
Add in the peppers. You can use any bell pepper colors you prefer. For this soup, I used red and yellow, but a combination of red, yellow, and orange would be nice too.
Adding in tomatoes and broth.
Add in zucchini and eggplant.
Simmer together for 5-8 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your vegetables. Spinach added at the end to slightly wilt.
I added thinly sliced Italian sausage and fava beans. Although, this soup is flavorful and luscious without adding meat or favas. Soup also tastes great cold as a gazpacho.
If you are not feeding a crowd or eating the soup throughout the week, package up in serving sizes and freeze.
Back to the soup loop – fresh farm or garden to table – the best!
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 4 cups spinach (or substitute cabbage if you prefer)
- 1 cup green beans (1″ pieces)
- 2 whole bell peppers, chopped
- 1 can (28 oz) regular or low sodium diced tomatoes (substitute same amount of tomatoes from the garden if abundant. Whirl some in the blender to create some sauce)
- 6 cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth (I only used 4 cups to make a slightly thicker base)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon each thyme & basil (or 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme & basil)
- pepper to taste
- 2 cups chopped or julienned eggplant
- 2 cups sliced or julienned zucchini
- 1/2 to 1 cup fava beans (steamed and removed from casings)
- 2 links cooked and sliced Italian sausage
- In a large pot cook sausage if using. Drain most of the drippings, leaving a little in the pan. (For vegetarians, eliminate sausage and use a scant amount of olive oil instead.)
- Remove sausage and set aside.
- Sauté the carrots, green beans, onion & garlic over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in bell peppers, tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, bay leaves and seasonings. Simmer another 6-8 minutes.
- Add in zucchini and eggplant. Simmer for a few minutes more.
- Drop spinach into simmering pot of vegetables to wilt.
- If adding optional fava beans and/or Italian sausage, do so at this point.
- Remove bay leaves before serving.
- Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.