Basic Bean and Vegetable Soup Recipe
Sometimes all you really need is just a good bowl of soup. I don't even remember where I found the original recipe for this. Once I discovered how easy it was to change it up, it became one of my favorites. This hearty soup recipe is a basic mixture that can be altered to your taste and ingredients. You can add your leftover and/or preferred vegetables and vary the type of beans.
To start, just cut up onion, celery, carrots, and whatever other raw vegetables you may want to add such as zucchini or yellow squash. Make the chunks all about the same size. Saute them in olive oil (or water, adding a tablespoon at a time as needed) until tender. Sometimes I will also add a couple of tablespoons of fresh parsley at this point. Salt and pepper to taste.
Once the vegetables are nearly tender, add the vegetable broth. If you use unsalted broth or beans, make sure and add enough salt to taste. Add the can of tomatoes and whatever spices you like. Basil, oregano, and thyme are good choices. About a teaspoon of the basil and oregano and half a teaspoon of the thyme. Or, if you prefer a little more earthy flavor, use cumin and turmeric. You can even add a little cinnamon for a twist. Bay leaves are good, too. If you're using lentils, bulgur, or quinoa add the them at this point.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minuets. Once it has simmered, add the cooked or canned beans and additional vegetables. This is where you can use up some of those left-overs. You can add anything from green beans to broccoli to kale or spinach. Fresh or frozen. Let it continue to cook for another 10 minuets. I will sometimes add the juice of ¼ lemon before serving.
Just add a green salad and some crusty bread for a delicious meal. This soup also freezes nicely for a quick lunch later in the week. For a thinner soup, simply add more stock.
2 tablespoons olive oil (or water)
1 onion, chopped
1 large, or two small carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small-medium zucchini
4 cups (32 oz container) vegetable broth
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups or 1 - 15.5 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry parsley
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
juice of 1/4 squeezed lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion, carrots, celery, and zucchini. Reduce heat and cook until onion is translucent 8 to 10 minuets. Salt and pepper to taste.
2. Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, lentils, herbs, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add rinsed beans and vegetables. Continue simmering for additional 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Add lemon juice. Enjoy!