Cold weather calls for hot soup, and this vitamin-rich soup is packed with vegetables. Soup is so versatile: Did you resolve to eat healthier or lose weight this year? Have a cup of vegetable soup before dinner to fill you up and boost your vegetable intake. Did you vow to be a better person? Take this soup to someone who is mourning, ill or just had a baby. The soup is both comforting and nutritious, and is vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free. Looking to get out of a rut? Replace plain old tomato soup with this healthier alternative to serve alongside grilled cheese. Upgrading the grilled cheese sandwich to goat cheese crostini takes the traditional pairing to a whole new level.
¼ Cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1.5 Cups)
3 carrots, chopped (1.5 Cups)
2 celery stalks, chopped (1 Cup)
½ fennel bulb, chopped (1 Cup)
1 small broccoli crown, chopped (3 cups)
2 small zucchini, chopped (2 ½ Cups)
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (1 Cup)
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
64 ounces low-sodium vegetable juice (such as V8)
About 20 fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons (chiffonade) for garnish
Salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in large stock or soup pot. Chop onion, carrot, celery, fennel, broccoli, zucchini and bell pepper into approximately ½ inch dice. As each vegetable is cut, add to the olive oil, starting with the sturdiest vegetables that benefit from longer cooking time (follow the order they appear in the recipe) seasoning lightly with salt and pepper after each addition. Add thyme and garlic just before adding vegetable juice. Simmer 20 -30 minutes. Garnish each serving with basil. Makes about 10 servings.
Goat Cheese Crostini
About 20 ½-inch slices from a baguette
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt & pepper
4 ounces Goat Cheese
Spread bread slices on a cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet and drizzle each side lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Toast in 400 degree oven for 4-5 minutes on each side. Spread with goat cheese just before serving. Serves 10.