About this Recipe
Soup lovers, veggie lovers … come one and all to experience the deliciousness of this homemade loaded vegetable soup recipe. I grew up in a family where soup was and still is a staple. Soups of all kinds are a constant food available, mostly in the fall and winter, and are made in large batches to take for easy lunches, to freeze for easy dinners, or to prepare for a large hungry crowd. There is nothing quite like coming home on a cold winter day (we live in Canada!) to the smells and warmth of soup on the stove. Now that my Mother and her siblings do not live in the same town, they will get on Skype together on Sunday mornings and chit chat while they discuss what kind of soup they are making, how they are making it and share tips and tricks for one another families.
1. You can be selective with any of the ingredients below. If you do not have access to, or do not like a certain vegetable, then skip it! That is the beautiful thing about soups is that they are really really adaptable.
2. Start by going on a chopping and dicing mission of all your produce before you begin, so when it is cooking time you are ready with all of your ingredients.
3. This soup is even better on the second day as the flavors infuse. Heat up in small portions as needed and if you only heat the portion you plan to it, the soup will keep for 5 days if left refrigerated.
4. Freeze in easy size portions that suit your family.
5. Make it mild by omitting the cayenne pepper or chili flakes.
6. Yummy served with sour cream, plain thick yogurt, or feta or vegan feta cheese!
8. This is a great recipe to make when travelers are coming to visit and you are not sure what time they will arrive, or if you live with a family who eats on different time schedules. Easy to heat up in small portions, and is just yummier and yummier the longer it sits.
Why eat more vegetables?
1. Fruits and vegetable and spices are all are rich sources of phytochemicals which have pages of research looking for and finding the potential to benefit oxidative stress and inflammation associated with degenerative diseases. Fruits, vegetables and spices have the possibility of helping degenerative issues involving the bones, metabolism and the heart to name a few.(1)
2. There are over 1000 search results with the words vegetables and inflammation in PubMed which is a database of scientific studies, many of them with positive findings of benefits of eating vegetables, fruit and spices which are rich in all sorts of nutrients like phytochemicals, fiber and other important micro-nutrients.(2)
3. Vegetables and fruits are inexpensive, safe and have profound anti-ulcer effects.(3)
4. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake to 3 servings a day has been shown in a 2018 study to benefit inflammatory markers and metabolic health.(4)
Makes: 16 cups
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium size onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, large (at least 10 inches) or use more smaller ones, washed or peeled and cut into small pieces
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 tomatoes, vine ripened, medium sized diced
3 russet potatoes, medium large, washed and cut into cubes, leave the peel on
20 fresh white medium small mushrooms, sliced
1 small head broccoli, chopped into pieces- if you peel the stem part they will be more tender
1 1/2 cup fresh green beans, cut into bite size pieces about one inch (or use frozen if fresh not available)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1 (796ml) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
5 cups water
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 large bay leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (or dried if you don't have access to fresh)
1 Tablespoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes OR red cayenne pepper (optional and more or less to taste)
1. We prepared all the vegetables first. Wash your vegetables in cold water and put onto a towel to drain while you are doing your prepping. There are a lot of vegetables here so it is helpful to put the chopped one into plates or bowls. Once all the prep work is done have ready a large Dutch oven or a large soup pot as this ends up with 16 cups worth of soup.
2. Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat on the stove top.
3. Start with the onion, celery and garlic, put into the heated oil and cook a couple minutes.Use a wooden spoon to stir occasionally while things are cooking. Add the carrots and cook two minutes. Add the peppers and continue cooking. Each time you add a new vegetable cook for about 2 minutes before adding the next ones. Add the potatoes and sauté. Add the mushrooms and green beans and broccoli, stir in and sauté. Add the tomatoes, stir with the wooden spoon and continue to sauté. Add the corn and the peas, stir again to combine and cook another 2 minutes.
4. Add the canned diced roasted tomatoes and stir to combine. Add 5 cups of water and stir. Add the tomato paste, pepper, bay leaves, half the salt asked for in the recipe and stir to evenly combine.
5. Add the cayenne pepper or chili flakes if using. Start with only 1/8 teaspoon and do a taste test. Adjust flavor to your liking. Degree of hot will vary with brand and type you use. Be careful not to over spice.
6. Cut the basil leaves into small pieces and stir into the soup. Turn the heat up, cover with a lid and bring to a slow boil. Let cook 10 minutes, taking the lid off to stir occasionally. Turn heat to low and simmer 2.5 hours. Keep an eye and stir once in awhile. Shut off heat. You can serve now or if you are pre-making, let it cool to room temperature then put into the refrigerator.
Having some veggie soup in your fridge, ready to be eaten anytime is a great idea. Although, if you leave it in your fridge too long, it could start to get a layer of mold growing on it which can not only be harmful to your health, but it also makes the food pretty unappealing. The best way to prevent mold from growing on your vegetable soup if you want to keep it for longer than a few days is to keep it in the freezer. That way, you don’t have to worry about eating it right away, and you’ll always have soup ready to go whenever you need a good meal.
Preventing mold from growing in your home is a good idea too, and there are methods on how to remove mold from various places in your home too. Cleaning out your fridge regularly is a good idea since the food in your fridge may have grown mold on it at some point or another. So you want to get the spores out of the fridge, so they don’t grow again. Use natural kitchen cleaners like vinegar or lemon juice mixed in water to spray the inside of your fridge and leave it to sit for 15 minutes before wiping it clean. Do this at least once per month or so to protect your fridge from mold and bacteria.
The other appliance you’ll want to clean regularly is your dishwasher because the inside of the dishwasher is constantly moist. Simply run your dishwasher through a regular cycle with no dishes in it using an all natural dishwasher soap and some vinegar and your machine will smell and look fresh and clean.
Sometimes a big bowl of soup is just what you need to warm you up or to nourish you well. So if you're looking for some new soup recipe ideas, you're in the right place because this loaded vegetable soup is incredible.
Soup is a powerhouse of nutrition, which is why it's often said that a bowl of soup is the best remedy for any ailment. It's also just a great meal option to have around when you don't feel like making a big fuss or you're too tired to put something together.
A great idea is to make a big batch of healthy soup or even doubling the recipe and then freeze some of it in separate containers for easy reheating or to take with you on the go.
You can make your soup in a Dutch oven if you like, or a Crock Pot. If you don't have either of those a good old-fashioned stock pot will do the trick just fine too.
A good soup is made by building the flavors as you go, so as tempting as it may be to just throw everything in a pot and let it simmer, it's so worth it to take your time . It's best to start by sauteing the aromatics like the onion and garlic first for this reason. Then you can start adding more vegetables to sweat and allow the flavors to meld together. In the end this will create a soup with layers of flavor and nutrients that will be satisfying on every level.
References: (1) Dietary Phytochemicals: Natural Swords Combating Inflammation and Oxidation-Mediated Degenerative Diseases. Islam MA1, Alam F1, Solayman M2, Khalil MI3, Kamal MA4, Gan SH1. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:5137431. Read more.
(2) PubMed Search of "vegetables and inflammation". (Retrieved Jan.17 2019) Read more.
(3) Antiulcer properties of fruits and vegetables: A mechanism based perspective. Harsha C, Banik K, Bordoloi D, Kunnumakkara AB. Food Chem Toxicol. 2017 Oct;108(Pt A):104-119. Read more." target="_blank">Read more.
(4) Role of whole grains versus fruits and vegetables in reducing subclinical inflammation and promoting gastrointestinal health in individuals affected by overweight and obesity: a randomized controlled trial. Julianne C. Kopf, Mallory J. Suhr, Jennifer Clarke, Seong-il Eyun, Jean-Jack M. Riethoven, Amanda E. Ramer-Tait, Devin J. Rose. Nutr J. 2018; 17: 72. Published online 2018 Jul 30. doi: 10.1186/s12937-018-0381-7 Read more." target="_blank">Read more.