I love soup. Period.
Soup is one of my absolute favorite things to eat – I love them all… except Clam Chowder or Lobster Bisque or anything involving seafood!! Even when it’s 80*-90* outside, I still love a good savory soup. Soup (or stew for that matter) is so warm and filling and makes me think of cold & wet Seattle days at home; I ate a lot of soup and stew growing up in my family. But it’s also easy to make a large pot to warm up throughout the week and it still tastes just as good days later.
I usually prefer broth based soups because sometimes cream based soups are just so heavy and seem to be mostly calories. But I do have my exceptions and during winter months, I do really like a smooth and creamy soup every once in a while. The Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper soup from Trader Joe’s is one of my absolute favorites! Also, one of my new favorites is Butternut Squash. I actually bought a butternut squash the other day at the grocery store so you can definitely expect another soup recipe soon.
Since starting my new job last week I was trying to come up with some easy and healthy lunch options and decided to make a pot of soup. I could live off of vegetables alone, so when I came across this vegetable soup I knew I had to try it. I was searching on Pinterest and found this recipe, it is definitely one for my repertoire! It’s a broth based soup with lots of veggies and the flavor is spot on! Of course I did tweak it a little (I can never make a recipe without changing something – thank you mom).
This is also an easy recipe that you can adjust according to your tastes and what is in your fridge presently!
Here’s what you need:
1/2 cup chopped onion (I used 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery (I used 3/4 cup)
2 cloves minced/chopped garlic
4 cups of broth (I used 8 cups)
1- 14oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
2 tablespoons Tomato paste (I used 3)
1 cup chopped cabbage (I used about 1-1/2 cups)
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup chopped zucchini
salt/pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: 1 cup cooked lentils or 1 can white beans, drained
Heat up a little oil in a dutch oven on your stove and begin to cook your onions on medium heat. I always like my onions softened up quite a bit so I cooked these around for about 5 minutes then I added in the carrots and celery. You’ll really want to soften these veggies up as much as you can unless you like them really crunchy – so about 10 minutes.
Add in your garlic for 1 minute then add in the broth, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. The recipe calls for 4 cups of broth but I always know that whenever I make a broth based soup I like almost twice as much broth so I added twice as much broth and it was the perfect amount in the end!
To cut up your cabbage, chop it in half right down the stem so that each half isn’t falling apart. Then cut those halves into half in the middle of the stem. I used the whole quarter for my soup – which was definitely more than 1 cup, but I didn’t actually measure. So now, chop the stem off of the quarter of cabbage and then chop it up. I took my fourth of the cabbage and cut it in half lengthwise and then chopped it about 5 times along the width so I had 10 sections of cabbage chopped. Make sense? Did I just totally confuse everyone??
Anyways, no one’s watching so chop the cabbage however you’d like! Then throw it into your pot. Now grab the kale and chop it as well. I used just the top parts and cut them into about 2” pieces and added them to my pot. Give them a good stir and add the dried basil and pepper. Cover your pot and let it cook on medium or medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime chop up your zucchini. I had both a zucchini and yellow squash in my fridge so I decided to add a little of both for color, and I really did add only 1 cup of this. You don’t need to add the zucchini in the pot until closer to the end because they’ll soften very quickly.
The original recipe says to let the soup cook for about 15 minutes before adding the zucchini but I let it sit more like 25-30 minutes. I added the zucchini and then let it cook another 30 minutes. That seems long, but in order to really soften up the cabbage and kale it does need to simmer for a bit. Taste your broth and adjust any flavor. I didn’t need to add any salt because my broth was salty enough, but I added plenty of pepper.
So my little twist to this recipe is that I added in lentils at the end. Why? Because I felt it needed a little oomph for protein. I actually preferred using white beans but didn’t have any on hand and decided to try the lentils instead. Next time, I won’t use lentils because I didn’t love them in the soup, but white beans would be nice.
This soup really was so delicious and I’m so excited that I get to eat it all week for lunch!! Am I super lame for being this excited over a pot of soup?!?
Add a toasted piece of bread with butter to complete this dish. Oh, and a bonus, this soup is very low in calories but fills you right up; perfect for maintaining a healthy weight. I hope you enjoy!