|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Making a great vegetable soup is a skill a home chef should have in his or her cooking repertoire. Not only is it great on a cold night or anytime comfort food is called for, but it's good for you and, depending on how many veggies you use and how chunky you cut them, it can be a complete and filling meal.
All it takes is vegetable broth (homemade is best but water spiked with bouillon is fine), plenty of vegetables, and a few seasonings. You can adjust the vegetables (and the quantities) in this recipe fairly easily. Got broccoli instead of cauliflower? Swap it with no problem. Don't have green beans or want to add extra zucchini? Go right ahead! The onions, celery, and carrots add quite a bit of flavor, so it's best not to replace those unless you absolutely have to.
Need it to be gluten-free? Just be sure to use a homemade, gluten-free vegetable broth, or be sure your store-bought broth is gluten-free. You also might want to check out this collection of gluten-free vegan soups.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or another cooking oil such as canola oil or sunflower oil)
- 1/2 large onion (chopped)
- Optional: 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 ribs celery (chopped)
- 2 carrots (sliced and peeled)
- 2 cups mixed vegetables (chopped, try cauliflower, zucchini, or green beans)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups vegetable broth (or 8 cups water + 2 cubes vegetable bouillon)
- 1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes (undrained)
- Optional: Parmesan cheese or Parmesan cheese substitute
Heat oil in a large soup or stock pot. Add the chopped onion, optional minced garlic, chopped celery, and sliced carrots. Sauté, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, until onions are soft but do not let them brown.
Add your choice of mixed chopped vegetables and heat for 1 to 2 minutes more. Do not let them brown.
Add salt, garlic powder, thyme, and oregano stirring to coat the vegetables well.
Add bay leaf, vegetable broth or water mixed with bouillon cubes, and undrained tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat, and simmer until the vegetables are tender - about 8 to 12 minutes.
Adjust seasonings to taste.
Remove the bay leaf and serve your homemade vegetable soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or Parmesan cheese substitute and some crusty bread or crackers.
Note: To add even more substance to this hearty soup, you can add 1 to 2 cups of quinoa that has been previously cooked in water or vegetable broth. Just reheat it in the hot soup.