Friday, April 2, 2010

Thyme Scented Vegetable Soup

My inspiration for this simple soup was a bunch of vegetables that needed to be used up from the fridge. If you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, feel free to substitute 1 ½ tsp dried thyme in its place. By tying the thyme bundle with kitchen twine and removing it at the end, you save yourself a lot of time by avoiding pulling off those tiny thyme leaves. After the soup has simmered, you’ll notice that most of the leaves have fallen off. Mission accomplished! The best part about this soup is that everything can be substituted for something else. If you don’t have garbanzo beans, but you have red kidney, use that. (Or whatever bean you have.) If you have zucchini, but no yellow squash, use that. If you don’t have thyme, but you have rosemary, use that. You get the idea. The soup comes together so quickly, you’ll never want canned soup again. You can really use anything you may have in the back of your vegetable drawer, plus broth and herbs to create your own version. This soup could be vegan/ vegetarian by using vegetable broth. Play around with it!

What You Need:

2 - 32oz boxes low sodium chicken broth
4 sm-med carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 med brown onion, diced
8oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 lrg yellow squash, cut into bite sized pieces
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 bunch thyme tied with kitchen twine
3 cups baby spinach
6 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

What To Do:
Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add bundle of thyme, onions and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes over medium to medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper. The vegetables will turn a golden brown in color, but should not be burned. 

Next, add carrots, celery and garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Season vegetable mixture again with salt and pepper.

You then add the squash, broth and beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. After soup has simmered, remove from heat and add spinach and stir until wilted. Remove thyme bundle and serve with hot bread and dinner salad.

Serves 6-8
Bon Appetit!

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