Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vegetable Soup for the Married Soul

I've had a lingering head cold for about 4 days now. After a very long day at work, all I wanted for dinner was soup. With the weather being cloudy and rainy yesterday, my husband couldn't agree more! He even offered to help me cook since I wasn't feeling my usual 100%-self.

Vegetable Soup for the Married Soul | www.kettlercuisine.com

He went through the pantry, freezer and refrigerator and listed all the available ingredients. I sat at the bar with a cup of hot ThermaFlu, spatting out a few instructions to get him started, then he took it from there. As I curled up on the sofa, I started to smell the soup from the kitchen. I don't know if it was the delicious aroma or the TheraFlu, but either way, I started to feel better.

Vegetable Soup for the Married Soul | www.kettlercuisine.com

There is something special about homemade soup, almost an instant guarantee to recovery when you are sick. 
I am certainly not dissing Campbell’s, there is a time and place for it, but when your husband offers to make you homemade soup, you take it!

Forty minutes later, Ryan pulled out a few additional ingredients for garnish and brought over a big bowl of warm, vegetable-loaded soup. Yummy....and I have to say, I am feeling better already!

Vegetable Soup for the Married Soul | www.kettlercuisine.com

Vegetable Soup

Yields: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

2 tablespoons butter
½ red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
5 baby zucchini, sliced (or 1 regular zucchini chopped)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
tablespoon Italian Seasoning
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - this will give a good spice level)
5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Parmesan rind
2 Bay leaves
salt and pepper
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels

Optional garnishes:
avocado, diced
shredded cheese
sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
tortilla chips (Hint of Lime ones are the best)

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, then add the onions and saute for 5 minutes more, stirring often. Once the onions are softened, add the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes (if spice is desired), salt and pepper. Stir this well to incorporate all of the herbs and spices.

Stir in the carrots and celery, continuing to saute for another 3-5 minutes. Add in the vegetable broth, zucchini, red bell pepper, bay leaves and Parmesan rind and bring to a simmer. 

Once the soup comes to a small boil, lower the heat to Low and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. Before serving, add in the black beans and frozen corn and cook for 2 minutes more. 

Discard the bay leaves and rinds before serving. Top with diced avocado and tortilla chips (either on the side or crushed in the soup, which I prefer). You can also top with cheese or sour cream/greek yogurt. This was a great leftover meal for the week!

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