This sumptuous soup is great to have on hand and enjoy any time of day. It makes a nourishing snack as well as a filling addition to any meal. If you have a limited amount of time to prepare your food during the week, this is an easy way to guarantee that you get your veggies every day.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow or sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
5 celery stalks, sliced into ½ inch segments
4 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
2 tablespoons fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, oregano, and/or thyme)
4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium organic vegetable stock
1 to 2 cups water, depending on desired thickness
One 28-ounce can/carton diced tomatoes
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
6 cups vegetables, chopped (such as broccoli, asparagus, red bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans)
3 cups fresh raw spinach leaves, washed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended for an additional kick)
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté the vegetables for about 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Then add the fresh herbs and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the vegetable stock, water diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Mix thoroughly and stir in the chopped vegetables. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Turn off the heat and add the spinach leaves. Cover the pot for 5 minutes to allow the spinach to steam. Remove the cover. Season the soup with freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Recipe by Elise Museles of EliseMuseles.com. First appeared in Gutbliss (Penguin 2013).