It’s soup time again! I told you I’ve been obsessed with soup this year. In my previous Salsa Stoup post, I mentioned a soup chock full of vegetables with pesto in it. Well, wait no more. As promised, here is the veggie soup recipe. It’s extremely healthy because it’s basically all veggies with some herbs and chicken stock. Tim and I both love vegetables, so I put pretty much everything but the kitchen sink in this soup, vegetably speaking. (What? I can make up words. It’s my blog.) I’ll often make this if we have a bad couple days of eating or we eat out a lot over the weekend, and then we can eat the soup for a few days and feel a little better about the not-so-good days before.
The ingredient list may seem daunting, but don’t let it scare you. Once you get everything chopped, it’s a piece of cake. I happen to really like chopping, so I think this is quite fun to make. Once you get the veggies going, you just add some fire roasted tomatoes, chicken stock, beans, kale, and parsley if you want. Oh, and the pesto!
I’ve made many different variations of this soup this winter. I’ve used different veggies, different kinds of beans, and I switch out the kale with cabbage and occasionally spinach if I have some to use up (though it’s not my favorite, because it basically disappears). If you do use kale, you’ll have about half a bunch leftover, with which you can make kale chips – a super healthy, crispy snack! Watch for that recipe soon.
Ok, back to the soup. The first few times I made it, I had fresh parsley on hand, so I put that in. One time, I didn’t have any parsley, so I started to think of what else I could put in. During the summer when I have fresh herbs on hand, I make pesto with both basil and parsley and then freeze it. So I thought, “why not?” and let me tell you it just took the soup to a whole new level of deliciousness! Today, I happened to have half of a can of black beans leftover from another recipe, so I threw those in too. I’ve used cannellini beans before, and they are delicious in this as well. You can adjust it to make more or less, but I like to make a lot and have it for leftovers. As it’s written, it will be about 6 to 8 servings. If you want to make less, only use 4 cups of chicken stock and leave out the broth, only use one zucchini (green or yellow), and cut the onion, carrots, and celery back a bit.
Vegetable Soup with Kale and Pesto
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1/2 green pepper, chopped
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
- 2 leeks, sliced and washed (see my post on washing leeks)
- 1 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 small yellow zucchini squash, chopped
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
- 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken stock (I used 1 box of stock – 4 cups – and one can of broth – 2 cups)
- 3-4 T basil pesto, homemade or store bought
- 3-4 leaves of kale, stripped from stems and chopped
- 2 T chopped parsley
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Put in the onions, carrots, and celery, salt and pepper the vegetables, and cook about 3 minutes. Add leeks, garlic, green pepper, zucchini, and squash, salt and pepper this layer, and cook another 5 minutes, until vegetables just begin to soften but still maintain some bite.
Add beans, tomatoes with juice, chicken stock and broth, and pesto. Simmer for about 10-20 minutes to let the flavors get friendly and to soften the vegetables to your taste. Then, stir in the kale and parsley, and cook for about 5 minutes more to wilt the kale.