If you know it, sing along!

I used to LOVE that show! Now that we’ve taken a walk down memory lane, let’s talk soup. About 2 weeks ago the weather started to change here in Richmond. Chilly nights, and now even some chilly days, put me in the mood for soup. If you do any type of meal planning or want to start, adding a soup to your weekly rotation during the Fall and Winter can be a life saver. Soups usually aren’t very time or labor intensive (I know some would say chopping is laborious, but I disagree – I find it therapeutic), can be a good reducer of food waste (no need to waste those veggies – throw ’em in a pot with some liquid!), and can be stretched across many meals or even frozen for those weeks when you really don’t have time.

In the past my soup making as been sporadic. Last year one of my favorite magazines, Mary Jane’s Farm, ran a great article on soup recipes and included 13 hearty soups. My thought was that’s a soup for each week of Fall, and if I freeze some of each recipe, that could easily get me through most of the Winter. Unfortunately I don’t still have that article, but I can easily come up with a different plant-based soup each week for the next 3 months. Plus I hope soup-making will help me waste less food.

My new vegan-ish diet has me attacking my meal planning like its my job and I’m going to start posting the weekly plan again on Sundays. It will include 1 soup and I’ll share the recipe later in the week. If you are a soup maker or want to get started with meal planning, will you join me? I’m always up for sharing tips and on the lookout for new recipes!

Fall soup week 1 – Vegetable soup
This basic tomato-based soup can use fresh or frozen vegetables and the spice can be adjusted to your liking.

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Vegetable soup

Yield 6 serving, approximately 1 1/2 cups each

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 cup green beans
1 cup diced potato (1-2 medium potatoes)
1 cup corn
3/4 cup peas
11.5 oz original V8 juice
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1 cup water
14 oz broth (I’m working through a case of Pacific Low-Sodium Chicken broth)
salt & pepper to taste*
Creole seasoning to taste*

*Note: I season soups as I layer in ingredients. I measured out 1/2 teaspoon of salt to start, used 1/2 of it to season my vegetables as they cooked then used the remainder to taste at the end. We are watching our sodium intake. Additionally, I found out the hard way that creole seasoning is VERY SPICY once it cooks. I used way too much (1 tablespoon) and had to actually pour off some of the soup liquor and replace it with plain water and broth. Lesson learned: go lightly with the creole seasoning while cooking. You can always add more at the end.

Directions: Add oil to soup/stock pot and head over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and cook until onion is translucent. Add celery and cook until vegetables are tender. Add in green beans, potato, corn, peas, V8 juice, diced tomatoes, water and broth. Stir well to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil. Add salt, pepper and creole seasoning to taste. Cover, reduce heat to whatever temperature keeps soup at a simmer (mine was medium-low). Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!