May 13, 2010

Straight-up Veggie Soup

When I had my first full-time job I didn't know how to cook yet and I was on a tight budget, so often lunch consisted of canned soup that I could heat in the microwave.  Man, how I wish I had known how simple soup is to make!  How hearty!  How delicious!  How inexpensive!  Now that I do know, I make soup all the time. My son relishes chicken noodle soup, my husband adores creamy potato soup (which I haven't shared with you all yet).  My daughter, well, she could care less about soup!  This is my new favorite soup.

This one is the easiest yet.  It's fresh, plain and simple.  It's reminiscent of canned soup but with more flavor and none of the additives.  I was a little worried I wouldn't like the tomatoes in this, but they mostly break down to give the broth a great flavor.  You may feel tempted to minestrone-ize it with pasta and beans. I can't tell you how to run your life, but I think it's perfect as is: a rich, hearty, brothy veggie soup.  Now that summer veggies are showing up at the market for reasonable prices and gardens are soon to be overflowing, there won't be a better season to make this. 

Besides, Mom always said to eat more vegetables, and this is a delicious way to stay on track.  Although, if I want my kids to eat it next time I'll have to chop the veggies up a lot smaller and serve theirs with pasta.  This time I was content that they let me have the pot to myself.

This is fantastic accompanied by sourdough bread!

Serves 6

Straight-up Veggie Soup
Adapted from "A Taste of Tradition" the Friends of St. Mary’s Russian Orthodox Church, Coaldale, PA

1 onion, chopped
2 cups green beans, fresh or frozen, cut in half
3 zucchini, chunked
1 cup celery and leaves, chopped
5 roma or 4 regular tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach
5 cups water
1 tbl. oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste

In a dutch oven lightly brown chopped onions in oil.  Add oregano and garlic, cook for one minute. Add
water and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, simmer, partially covered, for 30-40 minutes. 
Serve with lemon slices, if desired.

To be extra healthy, instead of water use a homemade chicken broth.

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