Saturday, March 15, 2014

Vegetable Soup


This is one of my favorite soup recipes. It's easy, delicious and very versatile. It can be cooked in the crock pot or in a stock pot on the stove. If you opt to cook on the stove simply double the broth, bring all contents to a boil after step 6 and simmer on low for about a hour. Usually I opt to cook on stove and halve the recipe. If there is room in freezer than I make the whole recipe and freeze half.

Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes ( undrained)
1 large onion ( chopped)
4 garlic cloves ( pressed)
2 tablespoons olive oil ( divided)
2 large carrots ( chopped)
2 small celery ribs ( chopped)
1 medium turnip ( chopped)
2 cups green beans ( cut in 1-inch pieces)
6 cups chicken broth ( or vegetable broth)
1/4 head cabbage ( chopped)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper
2 small russet potatoes ( peeled and chopped)

Directions

    1.  In a large soup pot, heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat.
    2.  Add the onion and cook till nearly translucent.
    3.  Now add the garlic. Don't let the garlic brown and saute another couple of minutes. 
    4.  Add the rest of the chopped veggies, sauteing for just a minute or two; the extra tablespoon of olive oil is
         if you need it for the rest of the veggies.  Remember you're not cooking them just sauteing them for the
         wonderful flavor this quick step will infuse in your soup.  
    5.  Add the thyme and salt and pepper while sauteing. 
    6.  Now put the veggies in the crock pot, add the tomatoes and broth. 
    7.  Cook on low 7-9 hours (depending on your crock pot) or high 4-6 hours. 
    8.  Just before serving, gently mash some of the potato chunks against the side of the crock pot to thicken
         the soup, give it a stir and serve.

    Serving Suggestions
    Grilled cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread and a spinach salad.

    Quick Fixes for Variations on the Basic Veggie Soup: Now remember, don't do these to the whole pot of soup. Just the little bit you pull out to fix yourself for lunch, etc. so that you can try all the quick fixes.

    Quick Fix #1: Tex Mex Veggie Soup. Add some canned black beans (drained and rinsed), a little bit of cumin and chopped cilantro. Top with some tortilla chips and cheese, or serve with a quesadilla.

    Quick Fix #2: Tuscan Veggie Soup. Add some canned white beans (drained and rinse), a little bit of Italian seasoning and some chopped kale. Cook till heated through and the kale is tender.

    Quick Fix #3: Minestrone Veggie Soup. Add some cooked pasta, a little dried basil and top with a fresh grating of Parmesan cheese.

    Quick Fix #4: Autumn Veggie Soup. Add some diced acorn squash or butternut squash, a handful of cooked brown rice, a sprinkling of nutmeg and some chopped parsley.

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