basil leaves, bay leaves, bouillon cubes, cabbage, Carrots, Celery, dried herbs, dried mushrooms, fennel bulb, Garlic, kidney beans, Leeks, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, red bell pepper, Spinach, Sun-dried, zucchini
With flu season upon us with a vengeance, I thought this was a good time of year to make a brothy, vegetable soup. There are a few beans tossed in, but they were more of an afterthought. This soup is all about vegetables, is slightly salty and will warm you to your bones. This is a healing soup. I love a brothy soup when I’m feeling under the weather, and it is that time of year. I’ve made it when I had a nasty cold and felt like death reheated several times. It’s that simple.
I’ve given you the amounts and kinds of vegetables I used today. But, the beauty of this recipe is its flexibility. The key is to use whatever vegetables you have, or more importantly, what you feel like eating.
I didn’t take any pictures while I was making this soup, only the finished product. It’s just a something I make, so I never thought about posting it. I don’t have a written recipe (until now!). Don’t be put off by what appears to be a long list of ingredients. I make this, or a version of this soup, now and then, using whatever I have on hand. I just never occurred to me that it was blog-worthy until The Latin Lover asked, “Have you posted this recipe?” When I told him I had not, he said I must. I still have some reservations, because it seems this doesn’t really require a recipe, but here it is anyway!
Vegetable Soup with Italian Flavors
- 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
- 1/2 fennel bulb, diced
- 1 celery rib, sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 1/2 bell pepper, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons dried minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano or marjoram
- 4-5 vegetable (or chicken) bouillon cubes
- Water to cover the vegetables by 2-inches
- 1 handful sliced dry mushrooms
- 1/3 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dry Italian seasoning, basil or oregano
- 2 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
- 1 cup coarsely chopped savoy cabbage or kale
- 1 14-ounce can kidney, garbanzo, or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional-great to remedy a stuffy nose!)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 large handful fresh spinach leaves, stems removed
- 4-6 large fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
- Additional water, if needed
- Shredded Parmesan cheese, for service
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, celery, fennel bulb, carrots, bay leaves, garlic, oregano, 4 bouillon cubes and water to cover the vegetables by at least 2 inches. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the dry mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes; continue to simmer for 5 minutes more. Add the Italian seasoning, zucchini, cabbage, beans, lemon juice and pepper flakes, if using. Simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 4-8 minutes. Taste and correct the salt; add water if you want more liquid. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the spinach and basil. Let stand for 5 minutes.
To serve, ladle into bowls, top with shredded Parmesan and a good bit of freshly ground black peppers. Enjoy!
NOTE: Add the additional bouillon cube, if you want a stronger flavor and to correct the saltiness.
Vegetable Soup with Italian Flavors Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.
This is perfect for our gluten-free and vegetarian friends. Feel free to add some cooked chicken or other protein, if you have some. I have, on occasion, served this with a poached egg perched atop each bowl of the soup. So make some soup, enjoy large bowls and be well.