HEARTY VEGETABLE SOUP
One of my all-time favorite things to eat during the winter is a hearty vegetable soup. Winter doesn’t last long in Austin but it does get surprisingly cold and, since my blood as thinned out to survive the crazy heat of summer, I need all of the warming power I can get on our chilly winter days. This soup does the job.
Soups are a great way to get in a ton of veggies and since they are cooked, they are much easier to digest making them a great option if you have digestive issues, or just struggle with getting in as many veggies as you should be eating.
This is also a great batch cooking option and, once cooled, can be frozen in glass mason jars and zip lock bags.
Add ground meat, beans, rice or quinoa to make it more filling
Mix in other vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower or squash
Use sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes, or leave them out for a low-carb option
Switch up the herbs
10 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 medium onion, cut in chunks
1⁄3 cup fresh basil
1⁄4 cup fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided into ¼ cup portions
¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1/2 cup warm water
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped fresh ripe tomatoes.
2 cups peeled diced red potatoes (can sub sweet potatoes or leave out for low-carb)
5 ounces fresh spinach
2 cups green peas (fresh or frozen)
4 cups bone broth (can sub in veggie broth or water)
2 cups water
kosher salt to taste (use 2 tablespoons if using water instead of broth)
extra virgin olive oil, best quality for serving
Combine garlic, onion chunks, basil, parsley, oregano and 1/4 cup olive oil in the food processor and chop until it turns into a pesto consistency
Warm 1/4 cup olive oil in a large soup pot, set over med-high heat
Add in the mixture; stirring as the moisture cooks out (about 7 minutes)
While this is cooking, take the porcini from the soaking liquid and dice into small pieces. Save the liquid to add to the soup.
Once mixture starts to stick to the soup pot, add in the zucchini, celery, tomatoes, carrots, and diced potatoes and porcini mushrooms. Stir well, fully combining the pesto and veggies.
Cook over high heat for 15 minutes.
Pour in the broth, water and porcini soaking water
Stir in the salt and heat soup to a full boil for about 2 minutes.
Adjust heat to maintain a steady bubbling.
Cook 45 minutes.
Add in spinach, and peas.
Cook 30 minutes longer, with the lid off until the liquid volume had decreased by about a quarter. The broth should be thick and flavorful.
Ladle into bowls; sprinkle on a few pinches of nutritional yeast if desired and drizzle on olive oil.
Makes 4 quarts.