Monday, January 25, 2010

Macaroni Vegetable Soup

Last week we went to the farmer's market. I was totally craving my carrot spread, and picturing making batches of it constantly. So I bought three big boxes of carrots from one of the stands. As the farmer I bought them from packed them up for me, he said, "That's the last of my carrots this year. I won't have any more after this...", and looked (I swear!) lovingly at my bag of carrots. It was like he was sending his youngest child off to college. He was clearly quite attached to his crops, so I have felt an abnormal sense of caring toward these carrots. I feel like I really need to use them all while they are still fresh, and not waste any of them (there will be NO MORE! :) ). I've used about half of them so far, and this is what's still left:

Yeah, it's alot of carrots. And I'm a little OD'd on carrot spread. So I used some carrots to make a batch of veggie soup for my friend this weekend, and was so inspired by my taste-tests that I made a second, use-up-some-carrots batch, yesterday. It came out delicious, and really healthy (and vegan! not on purpose, but if you ever need a good vegan soup recipe, here ya go). I used this recipe from, but doctored it up in true Leslie style.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can really use any veggies you want. I just pulled out everything I had in the fridge. All that veggie prep can be time consuming, so you can totally use frozen veggies if you want (just saute onion and garlic and add frozen bag with ingredients in step #2).

Macaroni Veggie Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 c. onions, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
2 c. carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 kale leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 medium potato, diced (I left the peel on)
1 to 1 1/2 c. cooked whole wheat macaroni
14.5 oz. can petite cut diced tomatoes, with the liquid (I used "no salt added")
14.5 oz. can beans (I used great northern beans; canellini would be good, too)--rinse and drain
4 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
5 cups water

1. In a large saucepan, saute onions in olive oil for a few minutes; add celery, carrots, and garlic, saute about 4 minutes more.
2. Add Kale, potato, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, beans, salt, thyme, oregano, and pepper. Cover and simmer until veggies are all tender (about 45-60 minutes), then stir in macaroni and simmer about 10 minutes.
3. Add water, if desired, to make a little more broth. If you add more water, just make sure to simmer for a few more minutes to keep the flavors strong. (you may also need to add a little more tomato paste)

That's it! Lainey topped hers with some shredded mozzarella cheese, and parmesean would be good too. We didn't need it for this one, but it could also be pureed with the immersion blender for a picky kiddo.

Now, I'm off to snack on some carrots. If I'm looking a little orange the next time you see me, you know why. :)

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