As the weather gets colder there is nothing better than a warming bowl of hot soup! I like to make a big pot of soup for supper at the beginning of the week. Then you can easily warm some up the next day for lunch, or even for dinner again.
Hearty vegetable soup is really so easy to make that a recipe is hardly needed. It can change depending on what you happen to have on hand. For this vegetable soup I started by looking to see what I had in the refrigerator. I like to keep lots of vegetables in every color around, so I usually have a pretty nice assortment.
I happened to have shiitake mushrooms, peppers, a tomato, rainbow carrots, red baby onions, shredded purple cabbage and some yams.
I also found celery and some fresh herbs, sage and oregano too. (Mince the herbs and set aside).
I found a can of pinto beans in the cupboard and some pasta ribbons (cook the pasta until al dente) – I decided both would add to the soup.
Any type of beans or pasta will work.
Chop all of the vegetables in bite size pieces and saute them in a large skillet in a few TB. of olive oil.
When the vegetables are lightly cooked, transfer them to a large pot. Add four cups of vegetable or chicken broth to the pot.
Then add the beans, pasta, and a can of chopped tomatoes. (or you can substitite 1-2 cups marinara sauce for added flavor) Season with salt & pepper to taste. (If you like, you can add pieces of cooked chicken to the soup too)
Let this simmer together on low for 15 – 20 minutes or until all of the vegetables are cooked through. I don’t like to cook it too long because I prefer the soup to taste fresh and not to be mushy. (The vegetables also retain their color better if not overcooked). I found some spinach and threw a few handfuls in as well as some more fresh herbs at the last minute. This gave it a nice fresh taste and added plenty of color.
You may want to grate a little parmesan on top and serve the soup with some toasted bread for a nice hearty meal. It is so low in fat and such a nice healthy helping of veggies that you can have a second bowl!