And here's yet another original soup recipe. This one's extremely easy to make; all you have to do is chop up a bunch of veggies, toss 'em in a sauce pot with water & spices, let the whole thing cook for a few hours, & then just forget about it until the timer goes off, et le voilà. Good for those nights when you want to drink something hot, soothing, tasty, & fresh, but don't feel like putting in major effort. :) Make it, drink it, & then crash on the sofa & relax -- You're in for the rest of the night. :)
The addition of the zucchini gives the soup its texture, while the red peppers & carrots add sweetness, & the red tomatoes give it some zing.
Tomato, Red Pepper, & Zucchini Soup
Ingredients: 3 large garlic cloves, minced 2-3 large shallots, diced 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 6 red peppers, innards/seeds removed & sliced into 2 inch pieces 3 large zucchinis, unpeeled & diced into rough chunks 5 large carrots, peeled & sliced into small 1 inch thick chunks 4 fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, diced 1 14.5-oz. can of diced tomatoes (NOTE: You will be using the entire can's contents, including the juice.) 3 Tbsp. flour 4 c. water 2 Tbsp. paprika 1-2 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional) 8-10 fresh basil leaves, OR 2 tsp. dried basil leaves 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram leaves 1/2 tsp. parsley salt, to taste (between 1-2 tsp.) 1/4 tsp. black pepper 15-20 sun-dried tomato halves (about 1 8-oz. container of sun-dried tomatoes) Directions: 1. In a large sauce pot, sauté garlic & shallots in olive oil on medium heat until translucent, stirring frequently. 2. Next, add red peppers & stir, cooking until tender. About 10-15 minutes. 3. Add zucchini & both the fresh & canned tomatoes. Cook for another 10 minutes, continuing to stir frequently. 4. Add flour, stirring until it disappears. 5. Add water, carrots, & all spices. 6. Turn down heat to low & simmer with the lid on for 3 hours. Check on soup occasionally & add water if necessary. Taste for flavor balance & adjust seasonings. Continuing to cook until desired thickness has been reached. 7. In the last 1/2 hour of cooking (i.e., 2 1/2 hrs into cooking), add the sun-dried tomatoes. 8. Remove from heat. 9. Blend mixture in batches, using a hand mixer, potato masher, or food mill. (If you like soup chunky, blend soup only slightly, using the pulse setting.) 10. Serve hot. Reheat if necessary. (Freeze remainder for future lunches & dinners.) Enjoy! Yield: 8-10 servings.
Serving suggestions: Garnish with thinly sliced/shredded fresh basil. Serve with a dollop of low-fat sour cream or non-fat plain yoghurt, & a slice of sour dough bread.