Recipe Spotlight: Veggie and Bean Soup

Written by Joy Errico Seusing
I make a version of this soup almost every week from fall through spring. It is great for dinner and even better as leftovers or a healthy, hearty lunch. As with many soups, the ingredients are pretty flexible (for instance, if you like a different kind of bean or vegetable, feel free to switch it out for the ones I have here). This feeds my family of four for dinner (though I admit, my four year old and two year old don’t eat a big portion!) with plenty of leftovers for at least two lunches or another dinner. It’s delicious on its own or with a loaf of crusty bread and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese on top. It also freezes very well.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced or crushed garlic
1 cup each finely diced carrot, onion and celery (please note Trader Joe’s sells something called Mirepoix in their vegetable section—it is in a clear plastic container. They do the work of dicing for you so I would suggest using this to save time!)
1 large zucchini or 2 small zucchinis, diced
1 can diced tomato
1 can cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
1 can chickpeas
2 containers of 32 ounce chicken broth (I use organic)
Salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste

Coat the bottom of a big soup pan with the olive oil. Heat on medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add diced carrot, onion and celery mixture, diced zucchini and crushed garlic. Saute for seven minutes or so. Add the canned tomato, beans, chickpeas and broth. Turn the heat to medium and let cook for 25-30 minutes. Taste the soup and add the seasonings to taste. Depending on what chicken broth you use, you may need more or less seasoning (especially salt), so it is important that you taste it until you get the flavor you want. Enjoy!

Joy Errico Seusing lives in Needham with her husband and two young children. She is the Vice President for External Relations at Jumpstart, a national early education organization headquartered in Boston. In addition to being a happily busy working mom, Joy loves traveling to new places, reading on her Kindle, interior design, power yoga, and of course, cooking!  Joy is a monthly contributor for the Parent Talk blog so be sure to check back for new recipe ideas each month.

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