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August 10, 2011

Veggie Soup | Back to School Recipes | Italian Vegetable Soup

Veggies can be hard to incorporate into your kids' diet - who am I kidding?  They are hard to incorporate in my own diet.  Mike is more of a Meat-and-Potatoes kind of guy, and I'm a Pasta-for-Every-Meal kind of gal, so we are often finding ourselves vegetable starved.  This healthy vegetable soup is just what we need to get us back into the nutrient rich world.

Vegetable soup can be a hard sell on kids.  I can't remember ever being excited when my Mom said we were having vegetable soup for dinner.  It was just one of those menu items that was 'fine' but not something that I would have requested.  It is not like anyone would pick vegetable soup for their birthday dinner. 

Soups become more appealing to kids when they're paired with something like grilled cheese, or... pizza.  Pizza?  Yes.  This Italian Vegetable Soup is the perfect complement to Pizza Bread - what kid wouldn't be excited about something called Pizza Bread?  Wait, what is Pizza Bread?  Here is the link to learn all about this mysterious wonder that I'm pretty sure my Mom made up... and was one of our favorites when we were younger.  It was probably even requested for a birthday dinner or two.

Back to the soup...

I'm always so shocked how quick a soup comes together.  Unlike popular belief, soups don't take hours (or skill) to assemble and don't need hours to simmer on the stove.  This veggie soup comes together in just about 20 minutes, is budget friendly (coming in at a grand total of about $8) and it is something you can feel good about making for your family.  Hurray - they (and we) ate vegetables today! 
Back to School Guide :
Veggie Soup with Pizza Bread

2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup of onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
1 1/2 - 2 cups of green beans, 1-inch dice

1 large can of whole, peeled tomatoes
1 14 oz. can of beef broth
1 teaspoon of dried Italian Herb seasoning
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
3 cups of spinach
2 cups of water
Sea Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional)

Begin by sauteing garlic in olive oil for 30 seconds on medium heat.  Add onions, carrots and green (or yellow) beans and raise heat to medium high.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.

Squeeze in tomatoes by hand, breaking them up into smaller chunks.  Pour in beef broth and add Italian Herb seasoning.  Add shredded cabbage and spinach, and pour in water.  Raise the heat to high and bring to slight boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Season with salt and pepper - I start with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, then add more if I need it.  Cook for 5-10 more minutes, until the vegetables are soft.  Add fresh basil just before serving.

I love when my counter looks like this...

Fresh carrots from Verrill Farm.  Sometimes I don't even peel the carrots... my little secret.  In a soup like this, it hardly matters.

I would typically use green beans, but I saw these yellow beans at the market and thought they'd be a great addition.   I snap off the ends, then cut them into 1-inch pieces. 

Start with garlic, then add beans, carrots and onions.

After they've cooked a little bit, add tomatoes and beef broth.

This can be a little messy, but the texture of hand squeezed tomatoes is worth it.  Just make sure you squeeze below the top of the pot so you don't end up wearing it... like I did in this photo.

Beef Broth is added.

Shred the cabbage by slicing it then cut it in half.

Add two cups of water.  Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.  This soup is great with grilled cheese, garlic bread or pizza bread.

It is Back to School Season!  I've put together a Back to School Guide that will make the beginning of the school year more fun (and manageable!).  These make ahead dinners, easy breakfast recipes and simple desserts will get an A+ from your kids... and will pass the parent taste test, too!

15% Off Everything Now At DiscountSchoolSupply.comBack-to-School season was such a fun time for me - especially Back-to-School shopping.  I loved getting new binders, crazy pencils and pens, notebooks and of course, the all important backpack.  New creative gear was so inspiring to me - wait, it still is! It must be so hard for families going through tough times to get their kids excited about Back-to-School.  

Join me in giving back this Back-to-School season!  Click on the link to the left, order some school supplies for your own kids (or your new organized office space/craft room...), then with the 15% off, you can afford to spend a little extra to donate to someone less fortunate. 

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