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.