It is a rainy and cool day in the Boston area today…the perfect day to put on a big pot of soup! We are making it super charged with veggies…a perfect meal for not only the weather but also to recover from a Sunday of over indulging on too many chocolate Easter eggs. There is something very creative about making soup… there are no hard fast rules and substitutions are easy. Every pot we make is slightly different depending on what is in the pantry and crisper drawer.
The recipe we used was for a hearty minestrone style pot of goodness with all our favorites: butternut squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, red kidney beans, zucchini, carrots, and some greens and parmesan to top it off. We also swirled through the juice of a fresh lemon at the end to give it a burst of freshness. No need to stick to our list of veggies either. When we made this last time around we had fresh green beans, summer squash, and used sweet potato instead of the butternut squash. You can also adjust how thin or thick you would like the soup by adjusting the amount of liquid. This produced a fairly thick stew like soup but if you would like it thinner, you might want to add another cup of water or broth. Make up a batch today and you will be treated to easy lunches and quick dinners for the next few nights!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb butternut squash, chopped (we often buy the pre-peeled and chopped packages for quick prep!)
1 large zucchini, chopped
3 carrots, chopped into large pieces
15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
15 oz red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
28 oz can of diced tomatoes ( we used garlic and basil)
2 cups of small wagon wheel pasta (or other small pasta)
32 oz of vegetable broth
2 cups of water
1 tsp celery salt
2 to 3 cups of chopped baby kale
juice of 1 lemon
optional: shredded parmesan cheese
Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes until softened. Add garlic and tomato paste and heat for few minutes more. Add butternut, zucchini, and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes then add beans, diced tomatoes, pasta, broth, water, celery salt and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and then reduce to low simmer and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in kale and lemon juice. Serve with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese, a simple salad, and some crusty bread. The result is an easy and healthy dinner!