It is winter or autumn right now – depending on where you live in the northern hemisphere – and there is nothing more satisfying than a warm, hearty bowl of homemade soup with a crusty loaf of bread (preferably that is homemade too but we will have to wait until Christmas when I visit my in-laws – my father-in-law makes all his own bread, mmm). No doubt there are lots of delicious vegetable soups to be found in recipe books and on-line but I love this soup, inspired by Soup Bowl: An Inspiring Collection of Soups, Broths, and Chowders. There is no oil, no sautéing, just pop it in the pot and go. It uses ingredients that are usually on-hand and you can easily substitute other vegetables to suit what you have available and your taste. And isn’t that what great cooking is about – versatile recipes and ideas that fit your kitchen and your tastes. Here I have added chickpeas because my son loves them and so do I. The Swiss chard could easily be swapped for spinach or kale or even left out entirely if you don’t have it. Peas would be a lovely swap for the corn and if you really dislike mushrooms, you can leave the shroom out (but who doesn’t like mushrooms, right?). Anyway, hope this inspires you to open the crisper and make your own satisfying bowl of vegetable soup.
Chunky Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 12oz/350g potatoes diced OR sweet potato OR butternut squash OR combination, diced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 4oz/115g white button mushrooms, sliced
- 14oz/400g can chopped tomatoes OR tomato sauce
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/8 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1-1/2 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup chickpeas, canned or fresh
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 2oz/55g green cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups Swiss Chard, finely cut
Put the carrots, onion, garlic, potatoes (or sweet potatoes or squash), celery, mushrooms, tomatoes , and stock into a large pot. Stir in the bay leaf and herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 25 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, corn, cabbage, and kale and return to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Ladle into bowls and serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.
- Chickpea Tomato Minestrone [with vegan option] (vegetarianventures.com)