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Vegetable Soup with Italian FlavorsWith 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

Vegetable Soup with Italian Flavors

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  • 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.