January 8, 2014

Vegetable Soup

I made this soup right before the chaos holidays started because the weather definitely called for it. The weather has progressively gotten worse and it's made me think this is the perfect time to share my soup recipe. I started making veggie soup as a way to get one of my favorite meals without all of the extra garbage that comes in the canned soups. I have wanted no part of the condensed, salty, unfilling soup that I used to love - especially when I figured out the secret. The veggie soup I make is really easy and, as far as soups go, doesn't take too long. It's adapted this soup from a Zucchini and Potato Tomato Soup recipe from The Little Kitchen food blog. I've made some changes to fit what I like in soup but I'll always be glad I found this recipe.

What You'll Need:
1/2 pound of small noodles (ex. mini conchiglie)
1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 diced white onion
3-4 medium sized potatoes (peeled and chopped)
2 zucchinis (quartered)
14 oz. can of diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 15 oz. cans of chicken broth
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 Tablespoons of dried oregano 
1 Tablespoon of dried basil 
1 can of whole kernel corn (drained)
Salt to taste

1. Start your pasta water. It's the worst to forget about this part so it's best to get it out of the way.

2. Add the olive oil to a large pot on medium heat then add the diced onions and stir occasionally. As these are cooking dice your peeled potatoes into small chunks. Remember that they'll cook better if they are the same size.

3. Once you add the potatoes, make sure to stir them constantly. All of the starch will make them stick so keep an eye on them while you cut the zucchini. For the zucchini, start by cutting of the ends, then slice the zucchini long way so you have two halves. Then cut those halves to get quarters. I suppose you could dice them so they would be the same size as the diced potatoes but I they do tend to get pretty soft by the end of the cooking process and you don't want zucchini mush in your soup. Unless you do of course. You're better of making sure everything is cut even. 

4. Add the zucchini to the potatoes and onions and let cook for about three minutes. 

5. Now is the time where this goes from cooking some garden veggies to really making it a delicious soup! Add your can of tomatoes and let them incorporate with the other veggies for a minute or two - just long enough for you to get your herbs and do the "revival" method. This is just the part where I put the dried herbs in the palm of my hand and rub my palms together so that it really wakes of the flavors of the herbs and they don't taste like they've been sitting in a plastic container in your cabinet for far too long. 

6. Stir everything and make sure all of the herbs are good to go. 

7. Add your chicken broth and let it come to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Carefully taste the broth and see if it needs any more seasonings.

8. At this point your pasta is probably ready or close to it. Make sure to drain AND rinse it. The potatoes are starchy enough to thicken everything and pasta starch isn't necessary. FYI this is the pasta I used. I use a lot of products from this brand and I love it. I didn't even know they made this size bag until I went looking for something to add to this soup. I think it was 80 cents. Not bad huh?

9. After about 15 minutes the potatoes should be fairly soft. If you taste them be really careful! Those suckers are hot! Add the corn (drained) and the pasta. Add any salt and pepper to taste. That's it. You'll either have enough to feed four or enough for two meals for two. I like to serve this with my no-knead white bread but it doesn't need it. I hope you enjoy!

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