Easy Homemade Vegetable Soup

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Does a recipe for the best vegetable soup really exist? No, it doesn’t exist, because vegetable soup is always different. There are no fixed rules, so set your imagination free for a simple combination of ingredients for a healthy and delicious dish.

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No rules for the perfect vegetable soup

There are lots of ingredients and soft creamy consistency that make up this vegetable soup. It is full of vegetables that guarantee a very flavorful taste and rich consistency from pulses (peas, lentils, and beans), potatoes, or pumpkin. You can add rice, pasta, or grains (quinoa, farro, bulgur, barley, spelt), and a little fat (butter, oil, or lard), or even better, extra virgin olive oil. Even people who do not like vegetables, appreciate this dish because you can prepare and store it in the fridge for a few days. 

What vegetables should I use in my soup?

Any kind of vegetables you like! My favorite ones are zucchini, potatoes, leeks, green beans, cannellini beans, tomatoes, and celery. You may also add some mushrooms, spinach, and cauliflower. In fact, you can choose from any of the vegetables you have in your pantry and fridge. 

Mix and match those vegetables, which are not very consistent, zucchini, spinach, and cabbage, along with creamy ones, potatoes, and pumpkin, and your results will be surprising. 

When I don’t have enough vegetables to prepare a good side plate, I put what I have together to prepare a delicious vegetable soup.

 

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How can I make my vegetable soup more flavorful?

Vegetable soup is appetizing because of its unique blend of smell and taste. You smell both the vegetables and the herbs. After, you taste a wonderful mix of vegetables and herbs. And it’s so nutritious. I suggest adding basil, thyme, and parsley.

How can vegetable soup be paired with?

Vegetable soup is very rich. In Italy, it is your side plate. We combine it with protein from meat, fish, eggs, or fresh cheese, and a slice of toasted rustic bread. In the US, it can easily be eaten with a piece of bread and a side salad for a healthy dinner. It certainly tastes good on a cold winter night.

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Is your vegetable soup flavorless? What can you do? 

First, season it with some more salt and pepper. You may also add an onion or a leek; my own tricks is to add herbs. I usually buy a small bunch of basil or thyme and add some leaves to my soup. One of the most famous recipes calls for the addition of a rind of Parmigiano cheese; add it to flavor the soup nicely. Whatever you do, don’t throw your rinds away. Keep them for soups and sauces. 

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Easy & light Italian homemade vegetable soup

Print
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword italian vegetable soup, vegetable soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 medium-size potatoes or 1 cup (100g) of pumpkin
  • 1 leek or 1 big onion

  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cups of string beans or cauliflower   (200g)
  • 2 cups of spinach or chard  (60g)
  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen pulses (peas, beans, broad beans, or chickpeas)  (200g)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2-3 sprigs of parsley
  • 4-5 leaves basil
  • 4-5 stems of chives
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • One 2-inch (5cm x 5cm) wide rind of Parmigiano Reggiano for added flavor 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Carefully wash and rinse all the vegetables; peel the potatoes, and remove the seeds from the tomatoes; 
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  • Cut them into small even pieces so that they cook evenly. Set aside the carrots, leek, and onion because they need a longer cooking time to release their flavor; 
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  • Put a little oil in a stockpot or dutch oven, brown carrots, leek, onion over medium-high heat for a few minutes (do not toast the onion and leek; otherwise, they will get bitter); 
  • Add the other vegetables, the herbs, and the Parmigiano rind (if you choose); 
  • Pour enough hot water to cover all of the vegetables: the water should be about 1 inch (3 cm) above the vegetables; 
  • Partially cover the pot with a lid and cook for about 25 minutes; add a little water if it gets too thick; 
  • Before serving, remove the Parmigiano rind and season with little extra virgin olive oil.
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A few tricks for the perfect vegetable soup:

  • Only add water if needed while cooking; too much water results in a liquidy soup; 
  • If you want to add pasta, cook it directly in the soup. Small pasta shapes, rice, or other grains, such as farro and quinoa, go well with this dish. Bring the soup to a rolling boil, pour in the pasta according to the package instructions. Cook the other grains, such as quinoa and farro, separately before adding. 
  • Do not add any fat while cooking but add a tablespoon of olive oil when the soup is in your bowl; it won’t be too heavy or oily and will add flavor;
  • If you prefer a creamier soup, blend it with an immersion blender; 
  • Store it in your fridge for a couple of days, or freeze it in small glass containers. 

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