Happy Saturday everyone!
I was going to post yesterday, but you know what? I wasn't feeling it. While still trying to be my most authentic self, I just didn't feel like putting fingers to keyboard. It might still be the writer's block a little bit. It might be because the hubby's on a business trip and I've become obsessed with findings on Netflix. It's true, I discovered "Stranger Things" and nothing was done for 8 hours while I binged. If you like sci-fi, you'll like that one. Then I stumbled on "Shameless". Oh man, I'm deep into that one too. There's nothing like watching a show about a huge family with lots of problems when you have an empty house 😜
So, to set aside my TV bingeing for a moment or two, let's talk about the opposite of TV bingeing- gardening!
I don't know about you, but my garden is still going strong-
The tomatoes plants just started to pop 🍅
My 2nd planting of carrots and green onions look amazing.
My strawberry plants continue to fruit (although, they are starting to peter out) 🍓
My huge zucchini plant that never produced has given me 2 tiny zucchinis!
Peppers of all kinds are coming on- jalapeño, cayenne's, red roasters, oh my! 🌶
Herbs? Coming out of my ears.
Now, I didn't grow cabbage or green beans this year, but the hubby's father did. I did use a head of his cabbage, his green beans, and one his giant zucchinis to make the soup. But those are my carrots and tomatoes!
As for the potato and onion, well, someone else grew those 😀
One of my favorite uses of garden veggies is for soup- glorious, delicious vegetable soup. One, you can throw a ton of veggies in a pot of soup. Seriously, this soup may as well be called "Garden Veggie Stew". And two, I froze 2 bags of this soup for ready-made-dinners later in the year. Frozen soup is such a time-saver! It's one of those items that could be considered leftovers, but tastes anything but. Even the hubby likes soup this way, and he's a leftover hater.
I like the tiniest amount of spice in my vegetable soup. Just a little bit.
Thinly sliced cabbage.
Those aforementioned herbs! I took some basil, rosemary, parsley, sage, and thyme to put in the soup.
I bundled my herbs together and just threw them in the soup to infuse. I liked the picture better by only tying the herb bundle once, but if you want it all to stay together (and you really, really want them to stay together vs. the alternative of fishing out strings of herbs one by one out of extremely hot pot of soup = not fun!) tie the bundle in 2-3 spots. When I was done simmering the soup, I fished the herb bouquet out and threw it in the compost.
Look at all those lovely garden veggies 😍
This is personal preference of course, but I like pasta in just about any soup. But especially in vegetable soup! Choose whatever shape floats your boat. I personally like the tender chew of orecchiette.
Top with freshly chopped parsley and shredded parmesan cheese. I highly recommend serving with a crusty bread for sopping up all the delicious broth.
And one last note on the soup- I like to add pasta to the soup separately. Pasta does not freeze well, so I always recommend making pasta on the side if you are planning on freezing soup. Pasta that's been frozen tends to become overcooked and then falls apart. Not good when you are looking for that wonderful chew from your glutinous friend that we all call pasta.
Alright friends, go forth and throw your veggies harvests into the soup pot! I'm headed for Season 2 of Shameless 🤗
Have a great weekend everyone!
Ingredients (serves 10-12):
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2-3 small carrots, peeled and chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
9 cups Chicken Broth (sub veggie broth here if you like!)
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 large zucchini, chopped
3 large tomatoes, chopped
3 cups green beans, trimmed
1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1 (14.5 ounce) can of Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
scant 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 bay leaves
handful of fresh herbs, tied together with kitchen twine (I used basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage)
toppings: shredded parmesan cheese, freshly chopped parsley, cooked pasta (optional)
1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. When warm, add onion and carrot. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until veggies start to soften. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste, stir to incorporate.
2. Once the tomato paste has incorporated, add chicken broth, potato, zucchini, tomato, green beans, cabbage, beans, salt, pepper, red pepper, bay leaves, and fresh herbs. Stir to mix. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 hours.
3. With a slotted spoon, fish out herb bundle and bay leaves. Discard. Taste soup and season to taste.
4. Prepare pasta. Ladle soup into bowls, and top with cooked pasta, chopped parsley, and cheese, if using. Serve immediately!
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