Since we’ve had a pretty rainy and cold spring here in the Pacific Northwest I am still putting on a pot of soup regularly. It’s always nice to have soup for dinner on chilly evenings , but I also love having a bowl for breakfast. Homemade soup always makes me feel like I’m eating a healthy meal regardless of the time of day.
Anyway, this recipe is very simple, fast and quite tasty! Since getting my Instant Pot a few years back I have been cooking my own beans I have not purchased a single can of them. All dried beans cooked from scratch are superior to the canned ones, but garbanzo beans really are worth the effort. Whenever I put on a pot of beans I make extra and freeze them in smaller quantities. That way I can take some out of the freezer which is just as quick as opening a can.
This vegetable soup can be on the table in no time and tastes even better re-heated the next day or two. I like to put a parmesan rind into the soup while its simmering away, but if you’re vegan or dairy intolerant just leave it out. The result will be every bit as delicious! As for the veggies, the carrots, celery, garlic and onions are a must, but the rest is up to you. Fresh tomatoes are nice, but since they’re not always flavorful in the off-season using a can of fire-roasted tomatoes would be just fine. Do use the fresh rosemary if you have some growing in the garden. It adds a wonderful herby flavor. Lastly, the greens are flexible as well. Use kale or spinach or if you haven’t tried mustard greens, give them a try. I love the spicy, mustardy flavor they add to this soup (and also curries!).
With yet another “Pineapple Express” on the way for this weekend I think another pot of this soup will be tasty. 🙂
Springtime Vegetable Soup
- olive oil
- 3 or 4 carrots, cleaned and chopped
- 3 or 4 celery stalks, cleaned and sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- several cloves of garlic, minced
- red pepper flakes
- 1 parmesan rind
- a sprig of fresh rosemary, minced
- 6 cups of good quality vegetable broth
- 2 cups garbanzo beans ( rinsed and drained well if canned)
- 3/4 cup uncooked orzo (rice shaped pasta)
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 large bunch of fresh kale, mustard greens or spinach, washed and chopped
- salt and freshly grounded pepper
- freshly grated parmesan if wanted
In a large soup pot heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and onion. Stir and sauté until the veggies start softening. Now add the garlic, red pepper flakes and the rosemary. Cook for a few more minutes until everything is fragrant.
Pour the vegetable broth into the pot and bring it to a boil. Add the garbanzo beans, orzo and parmesan rind if using. Canned tomatoes should be added about now, fresh ones at the end for best flavor and texture. When the soup returns to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. The orzo should be al dente!
Slowly add the chopped greens (I had some broccolini growing that I also added) and continue simmering the soup until the the greens are tender.
Lastly add the fresh tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes. Adding the tomatoes at the last moment keeps them firm and fresh tasting. Just before serving taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice perks up the flavors without needing a lot of salt. Add some freshly ground black pepper and remove the parmesan rind. You can refreeze the parmesan rind and use it again in your next pot of soup.
This has been one of my favorite soups in a while. It’s really simple and fast, doesn’t require a bunch of unusual ingredients and makes a delicious meal alongside a salad and some crusty bread!