Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Warming Vegetable Soup For A Winter's Day

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This morning we were greeted by a blustery and icy winter day here on the Eastern Shore. Lucky (for me), Fiona and I weren't going anywhere. My poor husband had to head out to work and deal with the layer of ice on the car. With the gusting wind and the growing icicles, I felt a chill even in our cozy home and decided a big pot of homemade veggie soup was just the thing to warm me up this afternoon.

There are a million recipes for vegetable soup out there and honestly most of them are probably fine and not that different than this one. The great thing about soups like this is that you can really customize them with whatever is in your pantry/fridge/freezer. I really love using freezer veggies too because a) they're cheap and b) you have access to great produce year-round.

This recipe combines fresh veggies with pantry staples a few freezer basics thrown in for good measure. The flavor is fantastic and it makes a TON. I plan on using it for lunches all week since I'm sick of salads at this point. Its a great way to get a bunch of veggies in without getting too bored with the same old salad-style lunch. I would say its a great soup for kids but my daughter is going through a "I won't eat that, it's trying to kill me" reaction to almost anything I try to get her to eat so I have no idea if your kids who aren't in that horrifying phase.

I don't like a ton of liquid in my soups, this one definitely errs on the smaller side in that regard so if you like your soups more "soupy" add in a few more cups of broth. Just make sure you have a big stockpot that will hold everything!

Warming Vegetable Soup

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
4 medium-large carrots (washed and chopped)
3 stalks of celery (washed and chopped)
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 15 oz cans of no salt added diced tomatoes (with juices)
1 large russet potato (peeled and chopped into cubes)
2 tbsp. dried parsley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen french-cut green beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas

Add the olive oil to a large dutch-oven style pot or stockpot and heat on medium until just shimmering. Add in the onion, carrots and celery. Cook until the onion is just starting to get translucent, then add in the garlic powder and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Pour in the broth, tomatoes, potato, parsley, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil and add in the green beans before reducing to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 20 minutes (until the potatoes are fork-tender). 

Add in the corn and peas and cook for another 5 minutes to heat through. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you need it, then serve hot.

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