We’re Cooking: Super Healthy Veggie Soup

So Gary and I are both on a bit of a diet before we head to Hawaii next month…yes, a diet that still includes a bottle of wine a night, but trying to cut out the other carbs like bread, pasta and pretzels (the hardest for me).   We have been eating a lot of salad lately so I changed it up last night by making a soup out of everything I would have included in our salad adding a little chicken stock, including about 4 tablespoons of various fresh herbs from our garden.  WOW!  The punch of flavor from fresh dill, chives and basil along with a big squeeze of lemon juice brightened up the soup while good chicken stock and fire roasted tomatoes added depth to the flavor.  So easy, fast and flavorful.  I started making it at 7:30 last night before the Dallas Mavericks game got started, finished the basics, set to simmer,  opened a bottle of Eola Hills Chardonnay  and cut up a green apple for dessert before the National Anthem was sung.  The soup was ready to be enjoyed by the middle of the first quarter and just got better throughout the night, a lot like our Mavs. 

Recipe:

Healthy Veggie Soup
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons water (if needed)
1 large yellow onion – chopped
2 carrots – peeled (if desired, I usually don’t peel as there is a thought that the nutrients are in the peel, just scrub well) and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2 celery ribs – chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 large zucchini – cut in half lengthwise then chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 handful of green beans, snipped and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 white mushrooms, sliced into quarters
1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons fresh herbs – chopped fine (we used fresh chives, basil and dill – parsley or cilantro would also work.  The dill really popped the flavor so make sure to include dill.)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper and salt + additional if needed
6 cups low sodium/low fat chicken or vegetable stock
3 ounces baby spinach  – roughly chopped once or twice
Shredded parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion, celery and carrots.  Stir and begin to soften.  Add a touch of water a bit at a time if the veggies begin to stick.  After about 5 minutes stir in the garlic and zucchini and continue to cook for another few minutes, then add the beans, salt, pepper and pepper flakes.  Stir to combine, add any more water if needed and cook for a few minutes.  Stir in the mushrooms and herbs and cook for about 3 minutes then add the tomatoes with the juice and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Then add the stock and bring up to a boil.  Boil for about 5 minutes then reduce to a simmer.  Soup is ready when the carrots are soft.   When ready to serve adjust any seasoning needed and layer a handful of spinach leaves in the bottom of your bowl and ladle the soup over.  You could also ladle the soup over a handful of  pasta, cooked in lots of salty water, drained and drizzled with a bit of olive oil to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick….but it isn’t quite as healthy that way.  The spinach will wilt from the heat of the soup but still maintain its texture.  Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.

One thought on “We’re Cooking: Super Healthy Veggie Soup

  1. this sounds really good. I’ve never thought to layer spinach in the bowl and pour soup over – that would be great for many soups. Yumm! Can’t wait to try this.

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