My husband always jokes – though with sincere hints of seriousness – that he grew up believing soup came from a can. This magical and brothy entity the aluminum gods and Campbell’s held sole stake on. And though I too felt like the culinary mastermind, cranking opened my own can of tomato soup as an act of independent defiance in the heat of fourth grade, I have the greatest memories of my grandmother’s chicken and dill soup, simmering for hours (days), with bones that seemed to melt and this grand sense of transcendent simplicity. Nothing more than time and chemistry, nothing less than divine.
Even in the highest heats of summer, I tend to find myself drawn to bowls of soups, stews, and curries – though I often serve them cold or at room temperature. With a busy schedule and tight wallet there’s something alluring about the one pot meal, only having to dedicate 10-15 minutes to my kitchen while my Dutch oven does the rest. But more than that, a bowl of soup, despite its contents, feels almost invincible – this holy grail of cozy, nourishing, and familiar. Though I begin my early summer mornings and lunches with the cold and the raw (cue: green smoothies and greener salads), I can’t help but find completeness and utter satisfaction in a simmering slurp. [line][line]
Weekday Vegetable Bean Soup [makes 6 servings]
Inspired by: 101 Cookbooks, Weekday Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
8 stalks celery, sliced ¼ thick
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, thoroughly drained + rinsed
salt & pepper to taste
6 tablespoons dairy free pesto
In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add red onion and leaks and sauté, stirring frequently, until vegetables are soft and begin to take on a hint of color (about 4 minutes). Stir in celery and caraway seeds and continue to sauté for an addition 3 minutes, or until lightly caramelized and fragrant.
Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, and cannellini beans and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, or until flavors are well melded. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Serve each bowl topped with a heaping tablespoon dairy free pesto and enjoy!
Nutritional Information [per serving = 1 ½ cups]
190 Calories, 7g Fat, 24.8g Carbohydrates, 6.2g Fiber, 9g Sugar, 8.4g Protein