As the first day of fall approaches quickly (September 22), I find myself craving hearty soups and stews. While the temperature here in San Diego only changes slightly during the fall, Autumn is definitely my favorite time of year! Fall = boots, scarves, soups, snuggling, changing colors, spiced apple cider, Hocus Pocus, and PUMPKIN PIE. Need I say more?!
I love making soups, and this one is a new addition to my favorites! The soup was a bit of an experiment, as I only used ingredients that I had on hand. It is quick and easy to make, and most importantly, delicious! It also happens to be vegan and vegetarian if you're into that, and if you're not, I will mention some variations to fit your needs!
Serves 4 or 1 person 4 times 😆
1- 32 oz Carton organic vegetable broth (organic chicken broth or stock works if you're not vegan/vegetarian)
1/2 - Organic yellow onion, chopped
2 - Large organic carrots, chopped (rounds)
2 - Stocks of organic celery
2 - Cloves organic garlic
1 - 16 oz can of organic diced tomatoes
1 - 16 oz can of organic white beans
2 - Sprigs of fresh or dried rosemary, or about 2 Tbs
2 - Dried Bay Leaves
1 or 2 - tsp of dried oregano, or fresh if you have it! Note: Typically you will need more of fresh herbs than dried
1 - Large russet potato (not pictured)
2 - Large handfuls of organic tuscan kale
Olive oil for sweating the vegetables
Crushed red pepper to taste
Salt + Pepper to taste
I personally added some grilled chicken at the end, and topped my soup with shredded cheese to bulk it up. Both ways are equally tasty!
*If adding chicken, make sure to cook it beforehand, or use ready to use chicken.*
1. Chop all of the vegetables and mince the garlic.
2. Peel and cube the potato. Set aside in a bowl filled with cool water.
3. In a large pot, turn on the heat and add some olive oil (about 2-3 Tbs). Let it heat up a little bit, and then add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, herbs, salt, and peppers.
4. Let the vegetables "sweat", stirring frequently to avoid browning. The goal is to cook the vegetables enough until they are slightly soft, but still have a crunch. This process also allows the herbs to come alive :).
5. Once you have achieved the proper "crunch", add the broth (and chicken if adding), diced tomatoes, and 3/4th of the drained white beans. Put the lid on, and let it come to a boil.
6. Once the soup has come to a boil, taste some of the broth once it is cool enough (Don't burn yourself!!). You may need to add some more spices to your preference. Let the flavors meld together for at least 20 minutes.
7. When you are satisfied with the flavor of the broth, strain and add the potatoes, kale, and remaining beans. Let the soup cook just until the potatoes are done. Turn off the heat at this point.
The end result is a hearty, almost creamy, (vegan/vegetarian) soup that is perfect for cooler fall weather!
Let it cool before serving. Top with cheese if desired (I can't say no to cheese)! This soup tastes even better the next day. I ended up adding more kale on day two.