Hearty Vegetable Soup

This is a great make-ahead soup that can be frozen in portion-sized containers. It's easy to re-heat on the stovetop. It can also be microwaved in the morning,then poured into an insulated thermos for a hearty, healthy school lunch.

Hearty Vegetable Soup
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Ingredients

  • 6 sprigs parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, and quartered (about 2 cups)
  • 4 quarts canned, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup diced zucchini (large dice)
  • 1 cup diced yellow squash (large dice)
  • 10-ounce bag prewashed spinach
  • Small box of macaroni elbows
  • 1 package turkey kielbasa
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)
  • Kitchen twine

Directions

  1. Tie the parsley sprigs and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine. Set aside.
  2. Cut turkey kielbasa into long, quarter lengths; boil to remove excess grease. Remove from water and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart (or larger) soup pot over high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and the parsley bundle, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth, salt, and pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Remove the cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 12 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, pasta and kielbasa to the soup. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the parsley bundle and serve the soup hot, garnished with the grated cheese if desired.

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