Filling and flavorful, this becomes a meal in itself when served with a robust bread and a simple salad. Though the peas and herbs will lose their color, this keeps exceptionally well and develops flavor as it stands. For an extra special cool-weather meal, start making some Focaccia Bread just before making the soup. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.
Serves: 8 or more
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 medium celery stalks, diced
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dry red or white wine, optional
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning blend
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked or canned (drained and rinsed)
red beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- Leaves from a few fresh thyme or oregano leaves, optional
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until both are golden.
Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes, along with just enough water to cover the vegetables (about 3 cups). Bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently, covered, until the vegetables are nearly tender.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, optional wine, bay leaves, seasoning blend, and beans. Return to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the vegetables are done, about 15 to 20 minutes longer.
Add the green peas, parsley, and optional thyme or oregano. Adjust the consistency with more water as needed if the soup is too crowded, then season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves and serve.