|Tuscan Vegetable Soup|
I got this recipe from my friend Mary and it's one of my favorite soups to warm the soul. It has lots of healthy stuff in it to fight off winter viruses too. With the beans, spinach, and cheese, it has plenty of protein, but you can add leftover chicken or ham to it if you like.
I use frozen leaf spinach that comes in a bag. It's not chopped, but is just loose leaves. I take it out of the freezer at the last minute and just crumble the spinach into the soup. I keep adding spinach until it looks good to me. Easy and good.
MARY'S TUSCAN VEGETABLE SOUP (adapted from FoodNetwork.com)
15.5. ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbs. olive oil
½ large onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 cups chicken broth
2 ounces baby spinach chopped (can be frozen spinach leaves)--adjust to taste and eye appeal
1 15.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes or about 2 cups of home canned tomatoes
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese--you can pass a small bowl of parmesan and a spoon for each person to add their own
In small bowl mash half of the beans with fork; set aside.
Heat the oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender--about 5 minutes.
Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to boil. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as a little thyme. I like to add red pepper flakes as well. They seem to burn out any lingering germs. You can pass the red pepper flakes at the table so each person can choose their level of heat. Add the mashed and whole beans and spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is just wilted. Remove the soup from the heat and divide into serving bowls. Serve topped with the Parmesan cheese.
This makes enough for 2-4 people depending how hungry they are. You can also serve it in smaller servings as a healthy first course. Great with a half sandwich too.
You can add leftover veggies and meats that you froze as well as any fresh veggies you have, especially ones that need to be used up. That makes a bigger pot of soup of course.
If you make this soup and freeze all of it in single serving portions, you can just heat and eat when you are too sick to cook. Otherwise, at least keep canned chicken soup on hand. The chicken broth is still helpful even though it is canned. Click here for how I "doctored up" canned soup when I was sick last year.
Click on any of the labels below this post for more great soup recipes to try. Do you have a favorite soup?