John and I took our daughter Kristen to the airport this morning. As I am writing this post, she is flying back to Canada after having spent Christmas with us. It isn’t easy being separated from your children, let alone being separated by an ocean. But, kids have to move on and find their own way in life.
When I got home, I wanted to keep busy so I made a vegetable soup with lots of chunky vegetables. Sometimes the best things are the simplest things. This soup tastes great on a cold winter’s day. (It’s also comforting when your child goes back to university!) With the vegetables, chick peas, lentils and pure tomato purée, one bowl of this soup is a complete and healthy meal.
I made the soup without putting much thought into it. I just grabbed whatever vegetables I could find in the fridge; often that is when I make my best recipes. The recipe is below.
Comforting homemade vegetable soups
Makes one very big pot of soup
Chop the following vegetables in bite-size chunks:
- 2 leeks with greens
- 1 large red onion (chopped smaller than the veggies)
- 6-8 carrots, peeled
- 6-8 celery sticks with leaves
- 2 medium-size zucchinis with skin
- 4-6 medium-size potatoes, peeled
Continue with the remaining ingredients:
- 3 tablespoons (tbsp) olive oil
- 2-3 garlic buds, pressed
- 1-2 tbsps dried Italian herbs
- 1 x 700 gram bottle of pure tomato pureed sauce
- 2-3 fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
- 6 cups of water – can add more water later, if need be
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- 1 x 400 gram jar of chick peas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup yellow or red lentils
- Some pink salt, paprika and ground pepper to taste
- A small dash of soya sauce (naturally fermented; low sodium)
- 1 big bunch (at least 1 cup) fresh kale leaves, washed and sliced fine
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Grated parmesan cheese or smoked tofu to sprinkle on top of each serving (option)
Heat up the olive oil in a large soup pot.
On medium-high sauté the prepared vegetables with the garlic and Italian herbs for about 15 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, basil leaves, water and tomato paste. Keep stirring and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Add the chick peas, lentils, salt, paprika, pepper and soya sauce. Let this simmer for 25 minutes with cover on, stirring from time to time.
Add more water if you prefer a more fluid soup.
Add the kale leaves and balsamic vinegar, stir and simmer with cover on for another 5 minutes until the kale softens.
Take off heat, stir well and let the soup settle for at least 10 minutes with cover off before serving.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese or smoked tofu and crusty bread. Yum!