Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Here’s a super quick and easy vegetable soup recipe I stumbled upon on foodnetwork.com. It’s simple, yet delicious and filling. After making this myself a couple of times, I modified the recipe to what I had on hand at the time. I decided to make chicken broth from scratch, boiling chicken legs in the same amount of water that would have been the canned broth. This will really help to add the effect of a clarified and pure-looking/tasting soup. The recipe calls for either fresh or dried herbs, but if you can get your hands on some fresh herbs, that would be better because the fresh herbs have more aroma and really enhance the flavor of the broth. Instead of just using 1 clove of garlic, I doubled the amount, just because I am a fan of garlic. It doesn’t really make a difference in the overall taste of the soup itself, however. On my second time around making the soup, I had a little over double the amount of spinach the recipe called for. I decided on a whim to toss it all in. You would think that that much spinach would simply overwhelm the balance of soup-to-vegetable ratio, but it really doesn’t (as with all my modifications). You just get more veggies to eat. I cannot eat a soup without crackers to go with it, so I also serve my soup with either saltine or oyster crackers on the side. Garnish with fresh Parmesan cheese and you’re all set.

MetriDee

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Tuscan Vegetable Soup
Prep Time: 20 min          Inactive Prep Time: —             Cook Time: 15 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 6 servings (1 1/2 cups each)

Ingredients
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced, (about 1/2 cup)
1 small zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, optional

Directions
In a small bowl mash half of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more.

Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.

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2007, Ellie Krieger, All Rights Reserved.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/tuscan-vegetable-soup-recipe/index.html

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