He goes on to say that if you want to give it more of an “Italian vibe” you can add a can of diced tomatoes, some torn fresh basil leaves and some broken spaghetti. I opted to add the tomatoes and basil with fantastic results.
In the introduction to his chapter on soups, Jamie explains that the key to a good soup is cooking the vegetables for the shortest amount of time that they need in order to be soft enough to be pureed or eaten, which will give better flavor and nutritional value. Is that why my previous vegetable soups weren’t as good as this one- I simply simmered them too long?
In the chapter he uses one basic soup recipe that he modifies in several different ways to create a variety of soups including this one for spring vegetable and bean, leek and potato, sweet potato and chorizo, pea and mint, tomato, cauliflower cheese, lentil and spinach, and parsnip and ginger.
The beauty is that once you’ve made a few of these soups, you will have mastered the basic formula for making great homemade soups and can then get creative experimenting with your own flavor combinations. I love this concept of really learning how to cook instead of blindly following recipes and soup is a great place to start since it is so easy and forgiving. It’s almost impossible to make bad homemade soup and usually the results are truly great.
I hope you will give this recipe a go and then pass it on by sharing it with or teaching it to at least two more people, which is what Jamie’s Food Revolution is all about!
Spring Vegetable and Bean Soup Recipe
Makes 6 – 8 servings
7 cups chicken or vegetable broth, preferably organic 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, optional 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 2 celery stalks, peeled and sliced 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans 2 cups small broccoli florets 2 cups small cauliflower florets 7 cups (7 ounces) spinach leaves 2 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground Parmesan for serving, optional
Put the broth and canned tomatoes, if using, in a saucepan and heat until boiling. Meanwhile, Put a large deep soup pot on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and stir them together with a wooden spoon. Place the lid on askew and cook them until the carrots have softened but are still holding their shape and the onion is lightly golden, about 10 minutes. (You’ll want to give them a stir every so often so they don’t begin to stick or burn.)
Add the boiling broth to the vegetables in the soup pot. Add the beans, broccoli, cauliflower and chopped fresh tomatoes. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes.
Add the spinach and cook for 30 seconds more, then remove pot from the heat. If you like a thicker soup, take out half of it, give it a whirl in a blender and then stir it back into the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls and top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Martha is a Healthy Weight Loss Coach and passionate home cook who loves helping other women over 40 discover easy healthy recipes for eating great, losing weight and taking better care of themselves inside & out.
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