it’s the end of the week. the lettuce sitting in the bottom drawer of the fridge since sunday is wilty, the only meat available is the chicken in the freezer but you already had chicken yesterday and you don’t feel like waiting for it to defrost, it’s butt-freezing cold outside, and the only thing your children ever feel like eating is m&m’s and “foop” (soup for those who don’t speak toddler).
don’t get takeout. don’t order pizza. make this super simple comforting soup with items that you (should) already have in your pantry and fridge. it’s ridiculously easy and filled with vegetables that kids like mine would otherwise not eat, plus it doesn’t even take all that long.
what you need:
- one shmedium onion, diced
- couple cloves of garlic, minced
- frozen mixed vegetables (usually includes a combination of carrots, peas, corn, green beans, and lima beans), about half a bag
- 1 can of beans… kidney beans, white beans, navy beans, any beans really
- 1 can of tomatoes, ideally a big can of diced or crushed tomatoes, but really anything will do
- 1 carton or 2-3 cans of stock, vegetable or chicken (or even 8 c. water with boullion instead of stock)
- any other vegetables you have lying around, chopped — e.g., zucchini, celery, spinach (extras are completely optional)
- dried or fresh oregano and/or basil
- salt & pepper to taste
- elbow macaroni, or whatever non-stringy pasta your heart desires
what you do:
saute the diced onions in a big soup pot until soft over medium heat. add garlic and cook until fragrant (about a minute).
dump in the rest of the ingredients except the pasta. crank up the heat to boil. bring down low to simmer.
at this point, you could let it simmer for just 15-20 minutes and be good to go, or you could let it go longer, like an hour. i’m sure letting it cook longer develops more flavors and increasingly complex profiles, but ain’t nobody got time for that! just add the pasta toward the end of cooking time so it doesn’t end up mushy. or skip the pasta altogether like i did, because i forgot.
serve with crusty bread…. or don’t.
feel bad about using so many canned and frozen foods… or don’t. i mean, at least it’s a ton of vegetables and my kids (so maybe your kids!) will actually eat this.