Easiest vegetable soup that will feed you for a week and has a mountain of variations

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We started getting Abundant Harvest again! We’re splitting a small box with Stephen’s parents and it is working out perfectly. No more rotting vegetables in the bottom of my fridge, haha.

The easiest way to use up a ton of our veg is to make soup. I’ve had a few recipes over the years, I was quite smitten with a recipe for sausage, white bean and kale soup that came on one of the newsletter recipe cards for awhile because Cara made it for me as one of my first meals after I had Ethan and those first meals tend to be the stuff of legendary awesomeness (At least my discussions with other moms leads me to believe this is so. Bonus interactive: If you had an awesome post-birth meal that your hormones or the level of work your body did made taste even better than normal tell me about it in the comments!).

Anyway, I am not sure how I started making this version, but it was probably just pure laziness on my part. You pretty much just chop everything up toss it in a pot with the other ingredients and let it simmer. No souffritto, no tiered addition of ingredients, no pot watching, nothing fancy.

No one in my house really loves soup the way I do so I usually make this with the intent of having it for lunch all week after a dinner table fight, for a potluck, to freeze, or to bring to a family that needs a meal.

There are a few different variations that I’ve made too depending on what we have on hand, what I get in the box, etc.

So here’s the basic recipe and the variations follow:

Ingredients:
•1 onion, chopped
• 2-3 carrots, chopped
• 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
• 2-3 potatoes, chopped
• sweet potato or butternut squash, chopped
• 2 qt vegetable broth
• 1 qt tomato soup or roasted red pepper tomato soup
• 1 bunch kale, Swiss chard or spinach, chopped
• 2 cans Cannellini beans
• salt and pepper to taste

Chop all of your vegetables and place in pot with all the other ingredients except greens. Simmer until root vegetables are tender. Add greens and just stir them in to wilt. Serve.

Variations:
• Add an herb or a combination of various herbs chopped finely or wrapped in a cheese cloth sachet that can be fished out at the end.
• Swap or leave out any of the veg depending on taste or what you have.
• Add small pasta in towards the end of cooking and simmer until pasta is done.
• For something more like Minestrone, use a jar (or 1-2 cups homemade) of your favorite marinara sauce instead of the tomato soup and add pasta and green beans.
-For something more like pasta fajiole follow the same instructions above minus the green beans and greens and brown some Italian bacon before you add everything else.
-Add sliced browned/grilled sausage at the end.
-For a more Mexican feel use the red pepper soup and one can of black beans and one can of pinto beans instead of the Cannellini beans. Add in some roasted frozen corn and chopped cilantro at the end. Serve with crunched tortilla chips and shredded cheese.
•An additional variation for the Mexican version is to add some cooked shredded chicken.
• Lentils instead of Cannellini beans
• Rice instead of pasta
• 1 can coconut milk and 1 can tomatoes instead of tomato soup, 1-2 tsp curry powder, cauliflower in with the veg and garbanzo beans instead of Cannellini beans for a vegetable curry soup
• split peas instead of beans, no tomato soup, chop a small ham, no sweet potato/butternut squash, 1-2 tsp fresh chopped herbs of the Scarborough Faire variety
• broccoli and pea pods in with the veg, bok choy instead of the other greens, won tons or dumplings instead of beans, no tomato soup, no sweet potato/butternut squash, shrimp or chicken if desired, and soy sauce to taste for a Chinese soup.

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Basic vegetable on the left and the minestrone version on the right.

I am sure you all can be creative and come up with endless variations of your own. I hope you like soup and the people around you do too. Yum!

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