Italian Vegetable Soup

Another soup to cure a cold (see my post on Mexican Chicken Soup). This one is scented with garlic and full of good-for-you vegetables.

Italian Vegetable Soup BowlItalian Vegetable Soup
Serves 6-8
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ large white onion, diced (~¾ cup)
  • 1 generouscup diced carrots
  • 5-6 medium stalks celery, diced (~1 cup)
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • ½ tsp. each dried basil & dried oregano
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise then sliced¼½” thick
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15.5-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh herbs – a mix of flat-leaf parsley, basil & oregano, depending on what you have
  • Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
  • Pesto, for serving
Heat oil over medium-low heat in a deep heavy pot such as a Dutch oven. Add garlic slices. Cook for 5 more minutes; try not to let them brown. Add onion, carrot & celery. Turn up heat to medium-high & cook 5 minutes. Add broth and dried herbs. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Add mushrooms & zucchini. Bring back to a boil, cover & reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Check vegetables for done-ness – simmer 5-10 more minutes if needed. Taste for salt & pepper and season accordingly. Add diced tomatoes, beans & fresh herbs. Bring to boil to incorporate the beans & tomatoes. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and pesto on the side.
If you really want to wow your diners, serve with homemade croutons for garnishing the soup.
Soup is, in general, a very forgiving dish to make. Using high-quality ingredients is important as is cooking each the appropriate length of time. Feel free to personalize according to your own tastes and what you have already in your kitchen.
You can substitute tortellini, rice, ditalini pasta or potatoes for the cannellini beans but you should cook them separately and then add to the soup. If you cook them directly in the soup they will absorb too much of the delicious garlic-flavored broth.
Enjoy! Let me know what your favorite soup is for cold rainy days.