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 *
Celery*
Carrots
Turnips
Rutabagas
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
Potatoes
Cabbage
Leeks
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.
Corn
Greens  (Spinach, kale, etc)
Okra

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

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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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