Italian Vegetarian Soup

I promised to post a delicious vegetarian soup made with Swiss chard (kale could be used), well here is what I came up with this weekend.  I tried it out on Kenny and he seemed to like it, he loves any kind of soup and this was no exception.  I thought it tasted very good too, but I am a winter soup kind of gal.

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups chopped onion (1 large)

1 cup chopped carrots

3/4 cup chopped celery

5 cups vegetable broth ( 2 cans)

5 minced garlic cloves

4 cups diced tomatoes ( I use one quart of our home canned tomatoes)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

5 cups chopped swiss chard ( 1 good bunch from the farmer’s market)

3 cups white beans ( I like white cannellin beans)

1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta ( cooked al dente and drained, I used elbows)

1/4 cup basil (chiffonade – cut into ribbons)

salt and pepper to taste

Of course as I have mentioned before I always keep a bag of  Mirepoix ( a French name for a combination of onion, celery and carrots) in the freezer as a quick soup starter.  You can pick it up at any grocery store in the freezer section. I used an entire bag today to equal the above measurements.

Heat olive oil in a stockpot on medium heat, add onions, carrots and celery; saute until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add broth, garlic, tomatoes with juice and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer for thirty minutes, uncovered.  Stir in parsley and check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

Add Swiss chard and beans, bring back to boil then reduce heat and simmer until chard is tender, about five minutes.  Add cooked pasta to soup, stir in basil.

Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese (optional), serve immediately and enjoy!

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