Sunday, August 7, 2011

Basic Vegetable Soup

I make this about once a weekish - it's healthy, filling and frugal! :)

Basic Vegetable Soup!

2 large cans petite diced tomatoes, garlic & olive oil seasoned
1 large onion -- chopped
4 cloves garlic -- peeled & whole
2-4 large carrots -- chopped
2 small celery stalks -- chopped
1 medium turnip, peeled & chopped
2 cups green beans -- cut in 1" pieces
6 cups broth (chicken, beef, or vegetable)
1/4 head cabbage -- chopped
4 small  potatoes, scrubbed & chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

Throw it all in a pot and let it simmer at least an hour or more :)

This is the basic version - here are some variations we like a lot...

Replace cabbage with kale (several cups worth of chopped & rinsed - or just torn into pieces)
Add in 2-4 cans of beans (great northern, kidney & black beans all work well)
Ground beef is really good in this, as well as breakfast sauasge & italian sauasage.
Give it an "autumn flair" by doing sweet potatoes & squash instead of potatoes & a good dash of cinnamon

There are SOOO many things you can do with this basic recipe.  Add whatever you have on hand, if you're missing one veggie, use more of something else.  It ends up being delicious no matter what you do :)  A "short cut' you can do is used frozen green beans & already peeled baby carrots or frozen shopped carrots, really any frozen vegetables :).

Adapted from Leanne Ely's "basic veggie soup" - here are some variation ideas from her original recipe.

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 do all the Quick Fixes.

Quick Fix #1: Tex Mex Veggie Soup. Add some (eyeball it--how much do you want?) 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 (eyeball it again) canned cannellini (white kidney beans) or 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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