“Eat your vegetables.” Isn’t that what any good mother says to her children? Well, any mom would be pleased to serve Tuscan Vegetable Soup to her kids. It’s basically a bowl stuffed with veggies and not much else. Pure goodness in a bowl! I know, I know, it’s usually extremely hard to get kids to eat what’s good for them. But I’m pretty sure, if you can get them to taste a bite, they’ll be hooked. The key is the cheese. Okay, so it’s not 100% totally VEG, but the cheese just transforms this soup. And who doesn’t love a gooey, melty cheesy bowl of goodness?!
Whenever I make a dish like Tuscan Vegetable Soup, that’s chock-full of healthy stuff, I think of Sarah. I just have to brag about my daughter here for a minute. Sarah is the most disciplined person I know. She eats healthier than anyone, and veggies are her passion. While most people in their twenties grab a burger or eat a bowl of cereal for lunch, Sarah takes a little extra time to make herself a salad or veg-stuffed sweet potato. She adores all the healthy stuff (as well as a few naughtier treats like ice cream) and thrives on keeping herself fit.
She spent the last year studying and learning to become a personal trainer, so now she’s helping other people reset their lives through good food, exercise and lifestyle changes. She’s an amazing example to me! And I love that we’ve got kiwiandcarrot to work on together! It’s a very fun project. Hopefully we’re helping other people fall in love with cooking and eating and being a bit healthier in their choices…but if not, we’re having a darn good time trying!
Thanks, Sarah. Love ya to the moon and back a billion, trillion times…..
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion
- 3 celery ribs
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup red potatoes
- 5 carrots
- 6 cups homemade or canned chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp. fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried
- 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley or 1 tsp. dried
- 1/2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried
- 1/2 Tbsp. fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 cup cabbage
- 1 can cannellini beans or small white beans
- 2 fresh tomatoes or 1 can stewed tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Pecorino, Parmesan or favorite hard Italian cheese
- Fresh basil
- Heat oil in large stock pot.
- Dice onion and celery ribs, and add to pot, along with minced garlic. Saute for 5 minutes.
- Dice potatoes, and peel and dice carrots. Add to pot with stock and herbs.
- Simmer about 10 minutes, until vegetables begin to soften.
- Chop zucchini into bite-size pieces and cut cabbage into small, thin ribbons.
- Drain and rinse beans.
- Dice fresh tomatoes, if using.
- Add zucchini, cabbage, beans and tomatoes to pot.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer until vegetables are barely soft.
- Top with freshly grated cheese and ribbons of fresh basil. Don't skip this step! It becomes a magic bowl of goodness with the fresh basil and cheese!
*This soup is definitely best when using fresh herbs, not dried!
*If a thicker base is desired, puree some of the soup once it is cooked and stir back in.
*This makes a lot of soup, but it freezes well. I always make a huge batch for future ready-to-eat meals! It doubles or even triples perfectly. If freezing, leave out potatoes, as they tend to get mushy in the freezer. Add cooked potatoes, cheese and extra fresh herbs after thawing.
Need some other yummy soup ideas? Try this minestrone soup, or this spicy black bean soup!