My favorite part of dinner is actually the part that comes just before dinner. There is something so relaxing about everyone hanging around the kitchen, having a glass of wine, and talking while a pot simmers on the stove. Between a full time job and grad school it's very rare I have an entire evening to spend however I chose, so when I somehow got home early last night I decided to take full advantage.
I started with the goal of making a simple vegetable soup that could walk the line between comfort food and health food. As usual my eyes were bigger than my...pot. I absolutely hate when vegetable soups are more broth than soup, so I came prepared with a mountain of veggies to include. I chopped and added, and then chopped and added some more, until I realized I had literally run out of space to add anything else. Thankfully, soup freezes beautifully, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying my mistake some busy evening this winter.
This recipe makes a huge quantity so feel free to cut it in half. The most important thing is that you have a good friend, a glass of wine, and preferably a baguette and brie on hand to enjoy while it cooks!
Extra virgin olive oil
2 Sweet onions, chopped
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
4 Carrots, sliced
4 C Chicken Broth
3 C crushed tomatoes
2 C Water
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 C peas
1/2 C corn
1 C green beans
1 C Kidney Beans
2 Russet Potatoes in about 1 inch cubes
1 C Rotini or other bite size pasta
1 tsp Dried Oregano
2 tsp Dried Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1) Begin by sauteing the onions and garlic in olive oil over low heat in a large saucepan. Be careful not to turn the heat too high as this will cause the garlic to fry and become bitter.
2) Add the carrots and continue to saute another 5-10 minutes
3) Add the chicken broth, crushed tomatoes (liquid and all), and water. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
4) Add the peas, corn, green beans, tomato paste, potatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper and allow to simmer about 20 minutes.
5) When potatoes begin to feel tender, add the kidney beans and pasta and continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the pasta is al dente.
6) Taste to re-adjust seasonings, and serve.