To be honest I was a little daunted by this posting. What recipe do you choose for your first food blog entry?? When I posed this question to myself I suddenly had a mind that wouldn’t stop spinning. I suddenly had so many ideas that I couldn’t write them down fast enough (thank goodness for limitless scrape paper at work). I shortly realized though that I couldn’t talk about peanut butter cookies and eggplant in the same entry…oh wait I just did! – Ha! So after some serious consideration and some food day dreaming I decided to go with what I normally make on the Monday after my week of work has come to an end. I make vegetable soup and LOTS of it.
After many failed attempts at finding a canned vegetable soup that I enjoyed (in my defense they claim these products are good) I decided to take on the task myself. Following the advise that if you want it done right, do it yourself…
This vegetable soup is a tomato based vegetable soup with no fillers (rice, barley, noodles, or even potatoes, all of which can be added if you like – just not my preference). The vegetables that I have chosen can be altered in quanity, omitting or adding to. I wander the produce section of the supermarket and choose accordingly. I find hearty vegetables work well …great flavors and they maintain their consistency during cooking. Adding a protein to this would also make it more substantial. The options are endless!
This soup freezes well and can be reheated on the stovetop or microwave.
Chunky Vegetable Soup (made in a 12 to 16 qt. stock pot)
- 3 garlic cloves – minced
- fresh thyme bundle
- 1 large onion
- 3 C. fresh green beans (cut bean into about 1 inch segments)
- 6 medium carrots ( LOVE carrots), peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 small heads of broccoli, only use the florets
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, only use the florets
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (baby portabellas I prefer)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 4-6 stalks of celery roughly chopped
- 2 C. fresh baby spinach
- 16oz. frozen peas, add frozen
- 3-28 oz. crushed tomatoes (diced, whole peeled, puree all works too – whatever is on hand/available)
- 64 oz of chicken broth (or vegetable) or enough to cover the vegetables.
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
Add all vegetables to the stock pot. When roughly chopping the vegetables make sure they are all relatively the same size to ensure even cooking time.
Toss in the garlic, thyme bundle, salt, and pepper
Add the crushed/diced tomatoes
Pour broth over everything until vegetables are covered
Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer.
Simmer for 1-1 & 1/2 hours – until vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat, remove thyme bundle, and ENJOY!