- extra-virgin olive oil 3 Tbsp.
- cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 3 medium cloves
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional) 1/4 tsp.
- medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped 1 Cups
- carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (sometimes I also use parsnips) 3 Cups
- ribs celery chopped 2 Cups
- zucchini, insides scooped out and discarded, sliced 3 Cups
- vegetable stock (can also use chicken stock) 2 1/2 Cups
- diced tomatoes in sauce 14.5 oz.
- tomato sauce (if you want more tomato flavor, add 14.5 oz can) 14.5 oz.
- Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or any other bean you'd like) 19 oz.
- Splenda or Sugar 2 tsp.
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste to taste
It’s Fall and the Red Dutch Oven is out in full force!! Today I made my favorite homemade Vegetable Bean Soup. It freezes well and is very healthy! I make a big batch of this soup and have enough for dinner that same night and plenty for the freezer for quick lunches during the week. I serve this plain or with some crackers on the side. But, I’m sure it would be great over some brown rice or Quinoa, maybe even whole wheat egg noodles.
Some other options I’ve tried are to add a handful of greens at the end of the cooking – like baby spinach, finely chopped kale or even frozen, thawed, chopped spinach. It adds another element of nutrition and taste and also looks really colorful.
Here’s another tip for adding even more flavor to the soup – add the rind of Parmigiano/Reggiano cheese to the pot while it’s simmering. It adds a rich, salty flavor and is a good use up for the left over rinds. As I use them, I just put them in a zip top bag in my freezer and when I’m going to make a pot of soup or sauce I just break off a piece of the rind and stick it in the pot and simmer along with whenever I’m cooking. Please, just remember you can do this with any cheese with a rind – Parmigiano Reggiano has a rind with no paper, but cheese like Locatelli has a paper on the rind that you’ll want to remove before you place it in the pot. And, of course, remove the mushy rind before serving the finished soup! I hope you enjoy this original recipe just as much as I do on a chilly Fall night.
- Add oil to a heavy bottom soup pot or Dutch Oven.
- Add garlic and red pepper flakes, sauté on medium heat for just a few seconds.
- Stir in onion, carrots, and celery.
- Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Now add zucchini and cook for another 10-15 minutes until carrots are tender.
- Add stock, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Add tomatoes, sauce, and beans.
- Bring the soup to a bubble and season with a little more salt, pepper and add Splenda or sugar.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.