Ever since I was a child, I have adored soup. It can be sweltering outside, but as long as I’ve got the AC on, I will happily curl up with a steaming bowl of soup and a good movie. It must have to do with the fond memories I have of my mother lovingly bringing me soup in bed on a tray whenever I was sick as a child (which was quite often). Much to her chagrin, I preferred the canned Campbell’s soups and packets of Lipton chicken noodle to any homemade varieties. My mother makes fantastic homemade soups (she even makes her own noodles from scratch!), but ever the processed food junkie, I retorted, “Give me Top Ramen or give me death!”
Ok, not really. I wasn’t THAT dramatic. At least I don’t think I was…
As I grew into adulthood and became a wife and then mother myself, I repented for my canned soup addicted ways and vowed to become an accomplished Potager. That’s soup chef for those of you who don’t speak French (me included). I make many varieties of soup, but this simple vegetable soup is one of my favorites. It comes together in about 30 minutes, which is great for busy weeknights. If you prep the veggies and grains in advance on your meal prep day, it’ll take less than 20! You can take the base recipe here and add in any other vegetables hanging out in your fridge. Corn, zucchini, potatoes, or even cauliflower would be lovely.
We also love to switch up the grain component in this soup as well. This particular night I served it with a portion of brown rice, but quinoa, farro, and millet are great options too. My kids are also fond of short cut pastas such as fusilli, ditalini, and orzo. Not many people are satisfied just drinking a bowl of veggie broth for dinner, so don’t skip out on adding a grain or pasta!
I will note that I like to cook my grains/pasta on the side of soups instead of directly in them. This way, the grains don’t get mushy in the leftovers when I put them in the fridge or freezer. I can also then use any leftover grains in another dish later in the week. I find that little bit of extra work is worth the benefits.
Since this is a Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup, let’s jump straight ahead to the recipe!
Quick and Easy Vegetable Soup
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks of celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBS Italian Seasoning
- 1 can “no salt added” petite diced tomatoes (14 oz)
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 3 cups baby spinach (or kale)
- salt, to taste (I used a bit under a teaspoon)
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste (I used about ½ tsp)
- 4 cups of cooked grain or pasta for serving (brown rice and pasta show–choose whatever you’d like!)
- In a large pot over medium high heat, sauté the onion, carrots, and celery using a splash of water if necessary to keep the veggies from sticking. Sauté for 5-8 minutes until the veggies have started to soften and onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic and Italian Seasoning to the pot and sauté for 2 minutes to “wake” the spices up.
- Add the can of tomatoes and vegetable stock to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring the soup to a full simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer gently for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the spinach to the pot, stir well, and cover with a lid. Let the spinach wilt for about 3 minutes. If your children (or yourself) will not eat larger “chunks” of spinach in the soup, you may choose to finely chop the greens before adding them to the soup.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4-6 with grain/pasta portion.
Do you love soup? Which is your favorite? Leave you comments below!
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