VEGAN MINESTRONE SOUP

While cooking, listen to this: 10th Avenue Freeze Out by Bruce Springsteen

Editor's note: Today, we have a very special guest blogger, Alyssa's mom! She's the brains behind this majestic soup, so we thought it was only appropriate that she share her inspiration with us. On another note, give your mom a call today!

When my daughter, Alyssa, was little she loved to help cook in the kitchen. Being the neat freak I am, and hating a mess, I was always reluctant to let her help. Alyssa takes after her Maga (grandmother and my mother). Translation: both are a tornado in the kitchen.

It seems that genetic trait skipped a generation. I like to clean as I go, Alyssa saves it all to the end. Even today, when Alyssa bakes you will find her hair streaked with flour. Fortunately, she doesn't take after me but after her father who loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen.

I didn't grow up loving to cook or cooking with my mom. However, I ended up learning to cook and bake and am surprisingly pretty good at it. I was a slow learner and didn't try cooking soups until my children were in middle school. My first soup success was my hearty vegetable soup.

Once the weather started turning cold, the kids would ask for it. I remembered being flattered when Alyssa moved to NYC and the first recipe she wanted was my vegetable soup.

This winter has been brutal. Don’t get me wrong, I embrace the snow and winter by skiing and snow shoeing, but the temps have been way too cold this year. I find myself craving comfort food such as hearty soups and pastas. Therefore, the perfect activity while you are stuck indoors is cooking. Cooking soup while sipping a good glass of red or white wine will definitely help pass the time and get your lazy self off the couch. Binge watching your favorite show is best while eating this delicious and filling soup. 

Hope you enjoy!

-Laura (Alyssa's Mom)

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Vegan Minestrone Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings

Total Cook Time: 20 minutes active; 2-3 hours inactive

Category: Soup, Vegan

2-3 carrots, diced

3-4 leafy stalks of celery

1 medium yellow onion

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 can black beans

1 can corn or 1 cup frozen corn

1 can of navy or cannellini beans 

1 Tablespoon OSEM soup mix (we used soup mix from the Arab market in the Old City of Jerusalem) *

1 14-ounce can of diced tomato

¾ - 1 quart of veggie broth, depending on desired consistency

1 head broccoli, chopped

2 zucchinis, diced (can replace broccoli)

½ cup elbow or Ditalini noodles

Optional: grated Parmesan cheese

Chop your veggies. Dice carrot, celery and onion either by hand or in a food processor on the chop setting. Chop your broccoli/zucchini and set aside for later.

In a large stock pot, sauté carrots, celery and onion with a tablespoon of olive oil until soft. 

Add canned beans, corn and soup mix, stirring until everything is coated.

Add diced tomato and veggie broth, bringing everything to a boil.

Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for 2-3 hours. 

When you have 1 hour left, add broccoli. 

When you have about 20-30 minutes left, add noodles. Give soup a stir. 

Ladle hot soup into bowls, add Parmesan, if using, inhale deeply and dig in.

To store: this soup will keep nicely in the fridge for 5-7 days (in fact, it's better the next day). If storing for longer, fill glass jars and keep in the freezer, up to 3 months.

* if you can't find OSEM, or don't feel like buying it, use about ½-1 teaspoon of each: garlic powder, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. The seasoning in this recipe is very much to taste.