June 9, 2011

Tuscan Vegetable Soup and a Giveaway Winner

soup spoonful

First things first, I’m thrilled to announce the winner for La Kocinera’s birthday giveaway. The winner of a $50 Sur la Table virtual gift card is AubreyLaine! Aubrey, I’ll be sending you an e-mail soon with the details of how you can claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered this contest!

Winning Entry

Now, onto this soup business. It must be discussed.

Summer is a superb time of year. There’s long sunny days, the best movies, and ice cold lemonade never tastes better. It’s also blazingly hot, but we’ll crank up the air conditioning and pretend it’s not. Then there’s the fruits and veggies that come into season—majorly yummy stuff. From the vibrant, juicy strawberries to deep, flavorful greens, summertime is definitely Mother Nature’s version of happy hour.

When it comes to a typical collegiate summer, I live in a bit of opposite world. Rather than spend the spring pumping up my workouts for bathing suit season, I pare things down to the bare minimum as finals move in for the kill and my propensity to stress-eat Cheetos grows. Then summer hits and the running bug bites—the treadmill running bug, that is. Which brings me to my next point: tanning does not happen in my summer. Between the indoor exercising and hours spent in the kitchen, I actually get paler.

However, there’s definitely a bright side to this level of summertime hermit-ness. The instant that school stresses subside and schedules relax, there’s finally time to factor in some seriously healthy eating, especially considering the gorgeous produce that presents itself in the summer. This is how super tasty Tuscan Vegetable Soup comes into play.

It’s got spinach. It’s got zucchini. It’s got carrots. Each spoonful is packed with tomato-y broth, fresh herbs, and yummy bites of fresh veggies. And there’s beans. Lotsa beans. Healthy, light, with enough substance to keep you full, it’s summery perfection in a bowl.

Did I mention that it’s easy? Really easy? Like, easier than my spring Speech class? Where I managed to give only one speech? That easy.

I think you should give it a try. You’ll feel healthy, summery, and all that jazz.

overhead shot 1

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Recipe adapted from “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger

Printable Recipe


2 15-ounce cans Cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)

1 medium carrot, diced (about 1/2 cup)

2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)

1 medium zucchini, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped; or 1 teaspoon dried

2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped; or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices

2 cups baby spinach, chopped

freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


In a small bowl, mash half of one of the cans of beans, set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, thyme, sage, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened.

Add the broth and tomatoes, then bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans, as well as the baby spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.

Serve warm, topped with Parmesan.

10 comments:

  1. Mmm, this sounds like a soup I can get behind! Although I may have to cook this very early in the morning or very late at night. Ha. :)

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  2. This looks so refreshing! I am a fan of soup any time of year, and this veggie version is perfect!

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  3. Yum...I would totally make this! Pair it with a salad and call dinner "done..." :)!

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  4. I've been hunting down recipes like none other now that school's out for summer break! :) This looks like a spectacular way to use summer veggies. Oh, and stay in bikini shape!

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  5. Ohhh!! I healthy recipe is exactly what I need right now!! Hope all is well and you are off school for a break. :)

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  6. I love soup no matter how hot or cold is outside or inside, and yours looks great. Thanks Koci, have a great Sunday

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  7. Yum! Delicious looking soup. I'm new to your site but I must say I love your photos and layout. So clean and beautiful!

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  8. This looks amazing! I like how half of the beans are mashed. It looks like it gives the soup a really nice texture.

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  9. I'm hungering for this with a big wedge of crusty bread. A dream meal to be sure. ;)

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