After 4 back-to-back meals of beef, Hubby and I (probably more so me) were ready for a meat-detox. I knew I wanted to eat something healthy, so I went straight for my Ellie Krieger cookbook. Should I go for salad? Meh…I'm not a big salad-for-dinner kinda gal. I know…soup! Veggie soup!
I decided to make Ellie's Tuscan Vegetable Soup, but kept browsing the recipes for fun. Whilst flipping through the book, I eyed the pasta recipes (been in the mood for pasta lately) and decided that I would plan to make Ellie's Fettuccine Bolognese tomorrow, since a couple ingredients overlapped. I've been working on figuring out how to use any leftovers from previous meals, and the soup recipe used a half an onion, so I figured I'd use the other half for the pasta. I know…there are tons of things I could make with half an onion, but it looked good!
Look at all these veggies! They just look healty with the vibrant greens and the bright orange of the carrots! Mmm…
I also got an extra carrot while I was at the store. Need it twice,
chop it once, right Rachael Ray? I figured I'd save myself some
chopping time by cutting veggies for tonight's dinner and tomorrow's at
one time. Here are some chopped onions and carrots for tomorrow's dinner.
Know what this is? It's mashed up cannelini beans. These will help thicken the soup. Looks kinda like a bowl of oatmeal, no?
This soup cooked up super-cook. You could get this done in 20-30 minutes depending on how many ingredients you already have prepped, how fast you can cut, how fast your stove heats up, etc. This dinner took me about 30 minutes from the time I started gathering my ingredients to the time I was serving. A fast & healthy dinner…and a pretty affordable one, too! It's like killing 3 birds with one stone.
I served the soup with toasted slices of Great Harvest Bread Company Flax Oat Bran bread topped with melted butter.
According to her book, a 1 1/2 cup serving size contains a mere 143 calories and 4G total fat. Nice!
Ellie's Tuscan Vegetable Soup
Adapted from Ellie Krieger's recipe in her book, The Food You Crave
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small zucchini (about 1/2 pound), diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
2 tsp chopped fresh sage or 1/2 tsp dried (my note: I used 1/2 tsp herbes de provence. Not very Italian, but I didn't have sage)
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp pepper, plus more to taste
4 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
1 14.5-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with their juices
2 ounces baby spinach leaves (2 cups lightly packed), chopped or whole
parmesan cheese, to garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage (or herbes de provence), salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
While the veggies cook, in a small bowl, mash half the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon and set aside.
Once the veggies are tender, add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves (my note: I forgot to chop them and added them whole and it worked just fine). Cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.
Serve topped with parmesan cheese, if desired.