Crash Test Vegetarian

Vegan to Omnivore outreach program

Italian Vegetable Soup

on July 18, 2011

I really am a soupatarian.  It’s going to be in the 90’s today (as usual) and I’m having hot soup for breakfast, and probably again for lunch and for dinner too.  Surely I cannot be the only person on the planet that eats soup in the dead of summer, or eats the same thing 3 times in one day.

Italian Vegetable Soup

Yes, it’s a big picture.  Deal with it, I love the texture of this damn thrift store bowl. 🙂

Anyway, each week I make what I call a “pot meal.”  Basically the idea is it’s big ol’ pot of something really healthy and packed with veggies that I can take with me all week to work.  I work 3pm to 11:30 and my husband doesn’t usually get out of bed till noon (he works till 4 am) so we have very strange eating schedules, and since I only see my husband for 1-2 hours, the last thing I want to be doing during that time is mussing with lunches.

So instead, on Saturday or Sunday I try to make what usually ends up being a big pot of soup.  That way it’s ready to go.  I usually supplement it with other things.   For example, for dinner I’ll have this with a basic salad , tomorrow I might have a Tofurkey Sandwich with it.

Anywho, the thing I love about Vegetable Soup is that it’s so versatile.  What I put in it depends on whatever the heck I happen to have leftover from the week, or what vegetables I happen to have in my freezer.

While this isn’t really a recipe, there are some rules to getting this right.

First rule of soup club is we don’t talk about soup club… err… have a good base.  Something to know about this, is that any soup that has tomatoes in it will inevitably taste better the second day.  I usually make it the day before.

Prep round – Figure out your base.

The base for me is whatever canned tomatoes, and bullion and water (or broth).  This particular one has vegetable stewed Italian tomatoes with juice – chopped up (or squished with your hands – that’s fun too).   But you can use not-beef bullion or not-chicken bullion as well, and you could use diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, rotel tomatoes, etc.  You get the picture.

Round 1 tough vegetables

Onions *
Garlic *
NOT potatoes

*You can cook the Onions, Garlic and Celery prior to starting the base I don’t do it because I’m lazy.   I don’t suggest putting potatoes in this round, or else you’ll get mushy.   Also, here you can start adding in spices. I added Italian seasoning mix, and some Mrs. Dash (I dunno why, but it was there and somehow ended up in the soup), but you could use taco seasoning and make a more southwestern soup. I don’t suggest salting at this time.  Start cooking this on a light boil while you cut up the round two vegetables.

Round 2 vegetables wanna be tough vegetables

Green Beans
Bell Peppers (I do not like these in soup but whatever)

When the desired tenderness, taste for spices / salt and make some adjustments.  Add some heat!

Final Round

Cooked Beans – if canned, drained and rinsed
Zucchini – I cut the seeds out, ewww.
Greens  (Spinach, kale, etc)

You don’t need to cook the final round for long, just enough to warm stuff up and tenderize the Zucchini a little – maybe 5-10 minutes.  It will continue to cook even after removed from the heat, the soup stays hot for so long.  Now is also the time to salt it.

As for salt, I always use Herbamare.

If you’ve never tried this stuff, I highly highly recommend it.  It’s an herbal salt, so it’s technically a seasoning salt, but a very neutral one.  I use it on literally everything.  Um, except on sweet stuff.  I don’t think this would taste good on Tofutti ice cream at all.

Anyway, voila – you have enough soup to eat for a week, yay!

Italian Vegetable Soup

2 responses to “Italian Vegetable Soup

  1. Liz says:

    I’m not sure I could eat soup for three meals a day, but you definitely aren’t alone in eating it even in the heat of summer. I LOVE soup, especially vegetable, and like to do just like you said, make a big pot on the weekend and eat on it all week. It’s a great way for me to get in my veggies throughout the week and to always have something quick to heat up ready to go.

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