Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Mother's Vegetable Soup -- Updated

It amazes me that vegetable soup isn't at the top of everyone's menu for summer meals. Just look at the harvest of fresh vegetables we have to choose from. My Mother's vegetable was comforting, full of vitamins and anti-oxidants that kept us healthy and so easy to make. Today is a rainy day and my husband is going to the first University of Washington football game, so I thought I'd prepare this soup along with baking Kaiser rolls and Giant Gingerbread Cookies for him to "tailgate" with. Here's my recipe for the soup: (I recommend you chop all your vegetables before getting started with cooking.)

In a large Dutch oven or saucepan, heat 1/4 c olive oil
Add 1 large yellow onion
3 Leeks (make sure you clean them well)
1 1/2 cups carrots
1 cup celery
Saute these first four ingredients on medium heat, then put a lid on the pan and cook 5 to 7 minutes. This step helps "sweat" the vegetables without burning them. Then, add:
6-8 new Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, but cut into 1/2 pieces (if you use a more mature potato, peel first)
1 small head of cabbage, rough chopped
1 turnip (optional)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Cover the pan and "sweat" another 5-7 minutes.
1 29-ounce can "Fire-roasted" chopped tomatoes
6-8 cups water
4 Knorr Vegetable Bouillon Cubes (Instead of the water and bouillon, you can substitute your favorite vegetable stock)
1 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh corn, cut off the cob
Cook the mixture for 20-30 minutes, covered, on low heat.

Add: 1 15-ounce can Cannellini Beans (white kidney beans)
2 zucchini, chopped
1 cup chopped spinach (I used frozen)
1 cup petite peas (again, frozen)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried basil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cook for another 20 minutes, covered
When ready to serve...ladle in bowls and add shaved Parmesan cheese on top.

For my dinner, I added a salad of greens, clemantine oranges, gala apples, sliced almonds, and feta cheese. The Kaiser rolls I made was the basic recipe I gave earlier except I added 2/3 cup "Harvest Grains Blend" ,instead of the sundried tomatoes and onions, to the dough. When I finished my meal, I had a wonderfully scented ginger cookie as a treat.

I hope you try this soup. It really is satisfying and with the expected flu season we're hearing about, it could be just the thing to keep your family healthy, not to mention it's inexpensive to make when you use vegetables that are in season. Enjoy!
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  1. I love this updated version of veggie soup. I like to finely chop zucchini, mushrooms, scallions and a few basil or parsley leaves and sprinkle on top of the soup before adding the shaved parmesan. Yum! Barbara

  2. I will be making this soon (By the way. I'll tell you why we don't eat veg. soup for a summer meal...because it's freakin' hot here in KY and it's all I can do to sit at the table and not sweat over my salad).

    We did just freeze a bunch of summer veggies from our Farmer's Market just for this purpose. Doesn't Parmesan make any soup even better? Yum is right!!

  3. I remember Grandma's vegetable soup simmering on the wood stove in the afternoon. The basket of vegetables looks so healthy and inviting. And the presentation of soup, salad and a roll looks so good even if it is 80 degrees outside.