Million Veggie Soup
To call it “panic mode” may be a little extreme. It’s more like “pressured purpose mode” — and it’s all because my pants are tight. Not actually the current pants I am wearing, because I HATE tight pants. I have ALWAYS hated tight pants, so much so that I really wouldn’t be surprised if mom told me that my first words were “I HATE tight pants!”
So, even though my current pants aren’t tight, all the pants hanging in my closet are tight. What’s worse ((– not that that situation couldn’t provide motivation in and of itself)) is that my shirts are feeling tight as well. With that status update comes a non-earth shattering announcement :: I am presently on a mission to get back into my closet. I estimate it will take a good solid month of effort – possibly more ’cause this gal isn’t getting any younger. Sigh.
Regardless, it’s officially time to cut the cream, pass on the butter, say “NO, thank you” to cookies and cake. It’s not “good bye”, rather see you in smaller increments later. In exchange for most of my faves, I am saying “Hello” to apples, boiled eggs, a hot & spicy V8 every now and then, roasted chicken, an occasional life saver (because cutting 100% of my sugar intake is for the birds and makes my legs ache like crazy) and lots of veggies. And by LOTS of veggies I mean like a solid MILLION veggies.
This soup is a perfect reflection of my current menu. Sure, it’s cheese-less, cream-less, butter-less, meat-less but WOW-WEE is this soup flavor-FULL!
Million Veggie Soup has practically every veggie you can get your hands on – minus broccoli and cauliflower. B & C aren’t my favorite addition to veggie soup because they really hijack the flavor. SO let’s start by listing out veggies and then I’ll talk about where to bring in the big, hearty, satisfying flavors.
- yellow squash
- fresh tomatoes
- fresh green beans
- crushed tomatoes
Once the veggies are chopped and diced, it’s time to make them sing. Here is where the magic happens ::
- homemade (store bought works too) chicken stock
- pinot grigio
- country style dijon mustard
- bay leaf
- s & p (of course)
- Italian parsley
- red pepper flakes
- soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- steak seasoning blend
- one more big flavor bomb surprise
I’ll tell you about what puts this Million Veggie Soup over the top in a second but FIRST, let me tell you about the cooking method. No-Peek is perfect for this recipe IF you peek once while it’s cooking.
The trick to tasty is to cook all of the above ingredients EXCEPT the green beans for 2 hours, then add the green beans and adjust seasonings and return to the oven for the final hour of cooking. You could also do this with the cabbage if you so choose.
After the soup is finished cooking, it’s time to serve. And with this amount of soup, you’ll have no problem eating your million veggies for at least a week!
The veggies are tender and the soup is full of flavor. It’s really a nice veggie soup. But “nice”, “good” and “fine” aren’t the words I am looking for when it comes to flavors. So here’s how to really make this soup sing :: radish & lime pico de gallo.
I am telling you what. I didn’t know veggie soup could be so good ((no offense momma)). The spicy bits of jalapeño, pop of cilantro & white onion would really be a treat all by themselves. I can actually eat pico by the spoonful. It’s a cousin to my most fave – chips and salsa. I guess eating pico without chips is like playing air guitar — but I am a gal on a mission.
OKAY – back to the soup. Plain pico is great but adding a micro-dice of radishes and a hefty squeeze of lime puts this healthy meal into the “crave-worthy” category. Really. I had a bowl for dinner, then breakfast and lunch. Ha!
If this doesn’t help loosen up the pants, I don’t know what will! Stay tuned for more mission-minded recipes to come. There’s work to be done but no reason to say good bye to flavor!
- 3 c diced carrots
- 2 c diced celery
- 4 to 5 c chopped cabbage
- 1/2 diced white onion
- 2 c diced yellow squash
- 2 c diced zucchini
- 3 c diced fresh tomatoes
- 3 c fresh green beans, cut in half
- 24-36 oz low sodium chicken stock
- 2-3 c water*
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 10 oz pinot grigio
- 2 T country style dijon mustard
- 1 - 2 bay leaf
- s & p (to taste)
- 1 c chopped Italian parsley
- 1 t red pepper flakes, optional
- 2 T soy sauce
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 2 t steak seasoning blend
- 2 c diced tomatoes
- 1 small jalapeño, diced (seeded optional)
- 1/2 c diced white onion
- 1/2 c chopped cilantro
- 6-8 medium radishes, diced
- 2 limes, juiced and extra lime if desired
- s & p (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a large 7 - 9 qt dutch oven, combine all ingredients except green beans, red pepper flakes and Pico. Stir to combine, cover and place in preheated oven for 2 hours. After 2 hours, add green beans, red pepper flakes and taste to adjust seasonings as needed (i.e. add additional s & p). Cover and return for 1 additional hour of cooking.
- While soup is finishing up, assemble pico by combining all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and season to taste.
- Once cooking time is complete, serve by topping with 3 - 4 T of pico and an extra squeeze or two of lime juice.
- Serves 12
- * more or less water depending on desired thickness.