Thick & Rich Garden Vegetable Soup
*2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
*1 1/2 C onion, chopped
*1 tbsp garlic, minced and divided
*4 1/4 C of water, divided
*1 (14 1/2 oz.) can reduced fat&sodium chicken broth
*1 C of small whole wheat pasta
*1 carrot, cut lengthwise into fourths then sliced
*1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
*4 C of broccoli florets
*1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then sliced
*1 C of cut green beans
*1 C fresh parsley leaves
*2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
*2 1/2 C plum tomatoes, chopped
1. Place 1 tsp of oil and the onions into a 5 qt. pot, cover the pot and cook 5 minutes.
2. Stir in 2 tsp of garlic and cook 30 seconds, pour in the broth and 4 C of water and bring to a boil.
3. Stir in the pasta and carrots and boil 5 minutes.
4. Remove 3/4 C of beans and set aside, stirring the remaining beans, broccoli, zucchini and green beans into the pot and boil 5 minutes.
5. Place the remaining beans, oil, garlic, water, parsley and cheese into the blender and puree until smooth.
6. Stir the mixture and the tomatoes into the soup just before serving.
Anytime you make soup with cannellini beans, black beans, navy beans, or northern beans, it makes the soup nice and thick if you scoop out a few and blend them, then add them back in. Just adding the beans themselves without blending will make a soup thicker, but blending them into a puree really does the trick.
This soup is packed with veggies so is very nutritious and filling. We enjoy it whenever we can get a hold of fresh garden vegetables, but it is equally as tasty in the dead of the winter with store-bought veggies.