In the realm of “30 Minute Meals,” this vegetable soup would make Rachel Ray proud. It is very simple and high in nutrients. As she would say with a bounce of her hair, “You’ve got everything in there but the kitchen sink!” One of the desirable characteristics of soup is there is ample room to multi-task: you can start off sautéing the ingredients that take longer to cook while chopping the ingredients that require less time. All in all, this soup takes about a half an hour from start to finish, is very inexpensive to make, and feeds a lot of people and/or leaves you with leftovers which only taste better the next day.
Even though it only takes roughly 30 minutes to make, this soup tastes as though it has been cooking all day because it is huge in flavor. One of my biggest reservations about vegetable soups is sometimes they turn out bland. Not this one! It is hearty, satisfying and hits the spot in the dead of winter! But don’t take my word for it…try it yourself – worst case scenario, you’re out a half an hour and $8 if you don’t enjoy it. Not too shabby!
So if you’re pressed for time and looking to “stretch a dollar,” as Rachel would say, give this soup a shot, modify it as necessary and let me know how it goes!
- 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped
- 1 turnip, peel on or off, chopped
- 1 leek, cleaned and chopped
- 1 cup chopped green beans
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
- 4 to 6 large tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Chop the turnip into ½” sized pieces. I leave the turnip skin on because it is nutritious and I don’t think it devalues the texture at all. Sauté the turnip in the stock pot then begin chopping the other vegetables into similar sizes, about ½”. Add the leek and minced garlic and continue to sauté.
You want the turnip to soften slightly before adding any liquid, but ensure it is still al dente before adding any liquid, as it will get mushy when steamed for too long. Add the tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a full boil. Add the eggplant and green beans. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Test the turnip to be sure it is soft. If not, simmer a few more minutes. Serve a heaping portion in a deep bowl and enjoy! Pairs great with my rustic whole wheat bread!