Monday, January 11, 2010

How to Make a Hearty Vegetable Soup

Here’s a recipe for a hearty winter meal that further debunks the myth that cooking is difficult and expensive. The following made about eight portions and cost $9. (Had I not used mostly organic ingredients, it would have totaled $5.) Prep time was 10 minutes and cooking time (mostly unattended) was roughly an hour.


I chopped two onions, two garlic cloves, two carrots, four stalks of celery and four small potatoes and sautéed them in olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat for eight minutes (until the onions were soft).

I then added a 28-ounce can of whole peele
d tomatoes and enough water (about 20 ounces) to cover the vegetables. I added a bay leaf and some peppercorns, brought the mixture to a boil, returned it to a simmer, covered the pot and let the soup simmer until the potatoes and carrots just softened (about 45 minutes).

I turned off the heat and added a can of chickpeas and some leftover kidney beans I had, plus some chopped parsley. I let the soup sit covered for about 15 minutes, and then added unrefined
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

After ladling a
portion into a bowl, I grated some Parmigiano-Reggiano over the soup.

Feel free to use any vegetables you like or have in your refrigerator. For more substance, ad
d cooked whole wheat pasta, cooked whole grains or chunks of whole grain bread to your bowl of soup.

You do not need to be a chef, grandmother or have slept in a Holiday Inn Express to be able to make this. The flavor, nutrition and sense of accomplishment will be much better than anything from a can.


OP2MIST said...

This sounds delicious. I'm looking forward totrying it :) Thanks Rob!

Anderburf said...

This looks really good! I just got some organic pepper and Himalayan sea salt from Sustainable Sourcing and I think I'll try them both out in some soup tonight. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to hear more about your sourcing of the ingredients and how it compares to where i would source mine (i.e the supermarket) and what my ingredients are filled with (pesticides, hormones, etc)

Chef Rob said...


I'll write about the specifics of the soup's ingredients later this week. Keep an eye open for it.


Laura said...

Just found your blog thanks to Fooducate and am excited about it. Love this recipe, but I am curious about something: noticed you used canned tomatoes. Everything I keep reading says we should stay away from canned tomatoes because of BPA, but I have not been able to find a good substitute. Any idea? Your thoughts on the relative safety of canned tomatoes?

Chef Rob said...


Glad you found The Delicious Truth via Fooducate.

The canned tomato issue is a really tough one. No companies make canned tomatoes without BPA (Eden's canned beans are BPA-free, though). The alternative is going with boxed tomatoes (i.e. Pomi). However, these aren't organic, so you run into the issue of pesticides.

Strained tomatoes in glass jars (i.e. Bionaturae brand) are also an option, but I recently read that the lids of glass jars should be avoided.

Unfortunately, when fresh tomatoes aren't in season we may be left in the regrettable position of having to pick our poison.

It really is a shame that this is our default.