Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Healthy Vegetarian Soup



Preparation Time:  15 - 20 minutes
Cook Time:  ~ 60 minutes
Servings:  4-6

Ingredients:

32 ounces (4 cups) of vegetable broth (Trader Joe's has a good organic one)
4 - 6 cups of water depending on how thick you like your soup
1 cup of diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
3 - 4 carrots diced
2 large russet potatoes diced 
1 large or 2 small onions diced
Optional vegetables - turnips, cabbage, and/or celery diced or cut in small pieces
1 cup of navy or kidney beans, chickpeas, (1/2 cup if using dry - soak for at least 8 - 12 hours) or 1/2 package of vegetarian ground meat.

1/2 cup of whole grains (barley, quinoa, brown rice, and/or millet) in any combination.    
Spices and herbs: about 1/2 tsp. each of poultry seasoning, parsley, basil, turmeric, and garlic powder.  Black pepper and/or a pinch of cayenne pepper to taste.  The amount of seasonings should be added to your liking and should not be limited to the above.  Ground rosemary, cilantro, and thyme are also good for soups.  Just stay away from seasonings with MSG like Accent.
Optional topping:  grated fresh Parmesan cheese (hormone free or organic) 

Put all ingredients in a large pot and stir well.  Bring to a boil.   Stir ingredients again.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for approximately 50 - 60 minutes.    Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Vegan option:  use vegan cheese or eliminate the cheese.  The soup tastes great without it.

This soup is great hearty, healthy soup (low sodium, low fat, and no refined sugar) for the winter months.  Every time I make the soup, which is at least once a week from November to March, it is a little different from the prior one depending on what vegetables, pasta, grains, beans, and spices I have available.  Make sure to cook enough for the next day.  It tastes even better reheated.  

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