We both have an unhealthy obsession with shoes…particularly cheap, colorful shoes with heels. Some of our best memories have taken place in shoe stores, believe it or not. There’s nothing like bonding over adorable $6 shoe bargains.
My mom has no shame and she’s a say-it-like-it-is kinda woman. Needless to say, I lack a verbal filter, tend to over-share, and rarely get embarrassed. We’re very straight-forward gals, that’s for sure.
Mom also loves soup. She makes a lot of it in the cooler months, and I like to, too.
For starters, she loves to cuddle. She can find a home for that fat, adorable face anyplace on my body. She can snuggle with my foot, head, leg…doesn’t matter. She’ll make it work.
She also HATES rain, just like me. In college, I would go as far as to skip entire DAYS of classes on account of the rain. There may be nothing more I hate than rain, in fact. It makes me sad, tired, and in an all-around cruddy mood. And Lily is on that same page with me. She goes on potty strikes because she refuses to leave the house when it’s raining. I can’t say I blame the girl…I’m just glad I don’t have to go out to use the bathroom!
It was only timely to have this vegetable soup on the menu this week. Ohio has been cold, dark, and rainy…for far too long. Really, really rainy. When I got home from class last night, I could hardly wait to reheat a bowl and enjoy every last drop. While I didn’t name this soup “The Best Vegetable Soup”…it really, truly is!
The Best Vegetable Soup very slightly adapted from My Kitchen Adventures
1 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
dash of dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried thyme or 2 tsp fresh thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
64 oz fat free, low sodium chicken stock
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
2 large russet potatoes, diced
2 cups carrots (about 4), sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 cup celery (about 3 stalks), diced
8 Brussels sprouts, ends cut off and quartered
1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen green beans
1/2 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley, minced
1 (10.75 ounce) can of condensed tomato soup + one can of water
1/2 lemon, juiced
additional salt and pepper, to taste
In a 6 quart dutch oven or large stock pot, over med heat, warm oil. Add in onion and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and cook another minute or so until fragrant. Add red pepper flakes, thyme, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Continue to cook for another minute or so.
Add in the stock and canned tomatoes + their juices and stir. Add in the potatoes and stir. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer and loosely cover. Simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Add in the carrots, celery, and Brussels sprouts. Allow to simmer until the carrots are almost tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Add in the frozen corn and green beans and the parsley. Bring back up to simmer and cook until all the vegetables are tender, an additional 10 minutes or so.
Add in the condensed soup and water and the lemon juice. Test for additional salt and pepper and season to taste. Remove bay leaf. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings (2 cups each).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 103 calories; 0.7 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 881 mg. sodium; 20.9 g. carbohydrate; 3 g. fiber; 4.3 g. protein
Result: Quite possibly the best vegetable soup…I concur! We enjoyed every bite of this warm and comforting fall time classic. I’ve never made vegetable soup at home, but the vegetables were all perfectly tender, the saltiness was just right, and the low calorie, low-fat stats are ideal for the waistline. Simple to make, too! Enjoy!
I am proud to report that I got up yesterday morning to complete off one of the best morning workouts I’ve ever had. I ran 3 miles in 32:30 (which included 2 walk breaks). It felt good and it did improve the dreaded rainy day. This week is going as planned…on track and a bit more balanced (even if my “short” day ended up a 12-hour work day…ugh!).
Question: What are your favorite additions to vegetable soup? Do you like rain?