Veggie Soup
An easy vegetable soup full of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

So, some may think there’s a typo in the title. Isn’t ALL vegetable soup vegetarian? Well … not necessarily. Some may add in chunks of beef or ground turkey to give the soup more flavor; some may have all vegetables but will use a beef or chicken stock. Some may have only a little selection of vegetables and the rest will be a mix of water and some tomato paste. Well, this soup I’ve made is truly vegetable and vegetarian friendly. It has more vegetables than you will probably find in Campbell’s Soup. It probably has enough vegetables to make up for a good vitamin supplement.

Here’s the gist of it; I like soups with substance. I guess, as Rachel Ray would put it, I like more of a ‘stoup’: it’s a soup with the consistency of a stew. There are some hidden ingredients that really help to boost the health content, and flavor, of this soup. It’s easy to make, it’s something you can stick in a crock pot or just in a regular pot on the stove.

What You’ll Need:
1 can of tomato soup1-1.5 cups of water
Diced Carrots
Diced Daikon
Minced Garlic
Sliced Mushrooms
Chopped celery
Sliced zucchini
Chopped broccoli stalks
A leafy green, chopped (kale, spinach, collards, turnips)
Dry black eyed peas (or some other dried beans will work)
A teaspoon of lime juice
A teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt, pepper (to taste)
A dash of hot sauce
A dash of Cajun or Chili powder seasoning
Italian seasoning (a dash)
1/2 sheet of Nori seaweed, crumbled (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

This is another ‘clean out your fridge or pantry’ meal. Meaning, if you don’t have ALL of the vegetables listed, that’s fine, it’s okay! Just use what you have on hand. Bring about a cup or a cup and half of water to boil; add in dry beans. Let the beans cook while you chop of the vegetables. After 20 or so minutes, add in the can of tomato soup and a little bit of more water. Let the contents simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Add in all of the chopped vegetables to the pot and let simmer. Add in salt, lime juice, pepper, hot sauce, Cajun or chili power seasoning to the pot. At this point, you’re going to let the soup simmer for an hour or more. This would make a great crock pot meal because the longer it simmers, the more tender the vegetables will become and the better the flavor (early on you will probably taste the lime juice strongly; after an hour of stewing and mixing with the veggies, it’ll be less detectable). A variation on this is to not allow the vegetables to get too soft. This will give you more of a crunch and will make it healthier; the less cooked a vegetable is, the more of its original nutrients, minerals and vitamins it maintains! Don’t be afraid to ‘undercook’ the dish.

Near the end when you’re almost ready to eat or serve the soup, another great hidden ingredient to boost the minerals you’re consuming is to crumble up a sheet of nori seaweed (can be found on the international row of the grocery store; usually used to make sushi). Adding in sea vegetables to your meal will, again, give you the health benefits many are lacking in their diets. By the end, there will be more vegetables than liquid. This makes the dish more hearty and fulfilling because the dish is packed with fiber, has tones of much needed vitamins and minerals, and will fill you up with just 1-2 bowls.

Some may be asking ‘what the heck is that white stuff on top of the soup?’ Well, it’s just a few popped kernels of corn. Yes, popcorn in layman’s terms. This gives the soup a bit more of a crunch and fun flavor, allowing you to perhaps skip out on bread or something overly fattening. Plus, air pop the corn and it’s healthy, only a few calories and boosts the fiber content of the meal.

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