Okay, I’ve been a bad blogger lately. It’s been several weeks since I’ve posted, and my Google reader tells me I have well over 1,000 unread blog posts to catch up on. Oops! Between the Thanksgiving holiday, a weeklong trip out of town and illness that hit right in between, I haven’t spent much time at my laptop. But I’m back and feeling better, so I should be back to regular posting and reading again.
Today I’ve got an amazingly easy and healthy veggie and bean soup recipe to share. Vegetable soup is my very favorite way to squeeze more vegetables into my diet (since I’m not a huge veggie fan), and this version includes beans for added protein and fiber.
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so easy to customize based on the ingredients you have on hand. You can put in almost any vegetables you like, try different beans (I like cannellini beans and chickpeas), use your favorite spices or add some barley, brown rice or whole-grain pasta.
Note that the recipe as written is heavy on the spinach, so feel free to cut back if you want fewer greens.
Super Easy Vegetable Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 box chopped, frozen spinach
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz) black beans, rinsed
1 (15-oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
1 (32-oz) box low-sodium chicken stock (about 4 cups)
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, stock and water to the stockpot, and stir to combine. Then add the bay leaves, Italian seasoning, seasoned salt, basil and lemon pepper.
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes; remove bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese before enjoying.