Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Two blog posts in one week?!? Unheard of during my abroad experience, and yet, here I am again!  This vegetable soup wasn't originally created with my blog in mind, but after making it my roommates and I agreed that it was just too good not to share with all of you!  And when I say hearty vegetable soup, I mean hearty.  I dare you not to feel satisfied after a bowl of this stuff.  This soup is also the easiest and cheapest way to feed four people...which is great for me considering that Europe is putting a serious dent in my bank account.  Another great thing about this soup is that it's pretty much a no-recipe recipe.  This means that, although I've made a version of this hearty vegetable soup three times now, it's never the same twice!  You can add just about any vegetables or beans you like and it will be just as delicious.  Feel free to add chicken or your favorite small noodle to make this soup just a bit heartier.  I'm going to give you the recipe for the latest version I made because it was especially good, and my favorite thus far.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 zucchini
1 eggplant
1 red pepper
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 tomatoes
10 button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 small bag baby spinach
1 cup garbanzo beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 packet vegetable soup seasoning

In a large pot over medium high heat, place the two tablespoons of olive oil.  Mince the garlic and dice the zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, carrots, celery, and tomatoes.  Slice the mushrooms.  Once the oil is heated, add the carrots, garlic and celery to the pot and allow to cook in the oil for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next, add the rest of the diced vegetables, the beans, the chicken broth and the seasoning packet.  If you feel like using a seasoning packet is cheating then I guess you could add garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, parsley and bay leaves to suit your tastes but honestly, the seasoning packet is just easier and they've done all the measuring work for you.  Let the soup simmer for 25-30 minutes over medium high heat or until all the vegetables are tender.  Once everything is cooked through, add the spinach to the soup and stir until wilted, about one minute.  Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with grated parmesan cheese if you like. Enjoy!

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