Just in time for spring, winter has returned to San Francisco, and with it has come a lot of long-overdue cold, wind and rain. So it’s a perfect time for some hot, hearty vegetable bean soup! This warming soup also packs a lot of nutrition, with one serving offering 312 calories, 11 grams of protein, 49 grams of good carbs, 10 grams of fiber and only 5 grams of fat. Kick in the nutrients that come courtesy of all those veggies, and this soup is good and good for ya! Here’s how its done:
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced small
2 celery stalks, diced small
1 medium onion, diced small
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, broth and parsley and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Parmesan.
About The Broth:
I’m always wary of recipes that call for a large amount of broth, mainly because canned broth is packed with nasty sodium; one 14-ounce can of chicken broth contains 930 mg of sodium — that’s 39% of your daily allowance! Put multiple cans of that in a soup or stew and your flirtin’ with cardiac disaster. The solution: make your own!
Vegetable broth is so easy to make there’s no reason to use the canned or packaged variety in this recipe. Simply throw whatever veggies you like into a big pot, cover them with enough water that you can easily stir them (less water for a more concentrated broth, more for a lighter flavor). Heat over medium high heat until just under boil, turn to medium low and let cook for an hour. Strain through cheesecloth or coffee filters, let cool and freeze for later use.
And don’t waste those veggies. They’ll be awesome in the soup, or can be used in other meals.