Soup (and Injury) Weather

Bad news first:  I'm injured.  I'm hoping to find out this week if it's a stress fracture or something called metatarsalgia, but the gist is that my left foot is killing me and I haven't been able to run.  That I have ants in my pants is an understatement.  I am just grateful that this happened after all my summer races.  Time to start swimming again!

Good news: This means more time to cook and blog about recipes!  Fantastic timing, too, because cold weather means the oven can be on in the evening and I can get more creative with dinners.  First up: my easy-peasy, go-to, crowd-pleasing Italian Soup.

Don't pictures of big pots of simmering soup make you feel all warm and cozy?  Also, I failed to take a photo of an appetizingly artful bowl of soup, so this is what you get.

Don't pictures of big pots of simmering soup make you feel all warm and cozy?  Also, I failed to take a photo of an appetizingly artful bowl of soup, so this is what you get.

15-Minute Italian Soup

1 yellow onion, diced small

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 carrots, sliced thinly

1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans (or 1.5 cups cooked beans)

4 cups vegetable broth (I like the Imagine Organic Low-Sodium variety)

1 large (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes - ideally San Marzano, but any will work

2 cups chopped kale, spinach, or other greens

Oregano, salt, pepper to taste

  1. Heat a large soup pot with cooking spray or a tiny bit of olive oil.  Add onions, garlic, and carrots, and cook over medium heat until the onions soften.  Add a splash of water as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Toss in your drained and rinsed garbanzo beans and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes, and spices.  (Go easy on the salt, as tomatoes and broth usually have quite a bit of salt already.)  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer for at least 10 minutes.  The key is to let your carrots get soft--any additional simmer time just deepens the flavor.
  4. Add your greens with a good stir when you've got 5 - 10 minutes of simmer time remaining.  Kale and other hardy greens hold up better than spinach if you plan to leave the soup simmering for a while.  
  5. Optional: add 1/4 cup of orzo pasta to the pot once you bring it to a boil, and allow to simmer at least as long as the package's recommended cooking time.  Makes it a bit heartier.  You can also cook the soup without the pasta on night one, then turn the leftovers into a pasta dish for night two--just serve over cooked pasta or heat the soup in a pot and cook your pasta right in the soup (adding a bit of water if necessary).

That's it!  So easy.  

Some serving ideas from our house: I will steal a couple of spoonfuls of this soup from the pot to serve over pasta for the kiddos--they don't really do soup.  My wife adds shaved parmesan to her bowl.  I love this soup served with a giant hunk of garlic bread.

PS - Speaking of garlic bread and not being able to run through the holiday binge fest, stay tuned for a future post on cutting flours out of my diet.  Yikes.