Cooking With Co-Op Basics: Simple Vegetable Soup
Course: Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalks, chopped
1 Bag Sno-Pac Mixed Vegetables (or vegetable of choice)*
1 tbsp granulated garlic (bulk item)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning blend (bulk item)
1 can diced tomatoes*
3 cups vegetable, chicken, or beef broth
1 tsp salt, to taste (bulk item)
2 bay leaves (bulk item)
1 pinch red pepper flakes (bulk item)
1 tsp fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 15 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained (reserve liquid separately) or 1 cup dried beans cooked up to 4 days prior (see note).*
2 cups fresh kale roughly chopped with tough ribs removed separately and finely chopped
*Indicates Co-Op Basics Item
Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, and celery and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the granulated garlic and Italian Seasoning. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Pour in the diced tomatoes and frozen vegetables and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often.
Pour in the kale stems, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 2 bay leaves and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the great northern beans and the chopped kale. Continue simmering for 10 minutes, until the greens have softened to your liking.
Remove the pot from heat, then remove the bay leaves. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Note on cooking beans: Soak beans overnight in enough liquid to cover 3-4 inches above beans. Drain. Slow cook with enough water to cover by 2 inches. To maximize effort, consider cooking enough beans for multiple meals and freezing or refrigerating extra. Beans will keep 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Alternative uses include bean spread or hummus, adding to salads, or bulking up sauteed vegetables or to compliment meat or grains.
Flavor Alternatives: this recipe is meant to be adapted to your own tastes and mood so you don't get bored. Consider substituting other seasoning blends (curry powder, garam masala, herbs de provence) to change the flavor profile. Wilty greens that you think are too soft for salad or peeled stems of broccoli, stems of collards, mustards or other greens can be substituted for the kale. Any other preferred frozen vegetable can be substituted.
For a heartier version and if your budget allows, add 2 cups diced potatoes or sweet potatoes or other root vegetables in during step 3. Or 2 cups pre-cooked pasta or grains (barley or rice) can be added during the final 5 minutes of the simmer. Add an additional teaspoon of salt to accommodate these additions.