As much as I love comfort food, and hearty food for that matter, I’m not a fan of stodge. I’m also much a fan of quick and easy meals – even if those recipes take a little time to actually cook. Take my heart vegetable soup for example. It takes less than ten minutes to prepare, then spends the next hour or so, simmering away to gentle perfection. Incredibly easy, with incredible flavour.
For my vegetable soup, I use predominantly root vegetables, making it perfect for winter. I pair these with rich chopped tomatoes (from a can, for ease), red lentils and brown rice. The red lentils cook down completely, losing their shape and providing a thick heartiness to the soup. The brown rice adds a wonderfully nutty flavour, and likewise thickens the soup as it cooks down. Afterall, this is a hearty veg soup – thick, and delicious.
When it comes to soup, one of my quirks is that I adore soup served over plain pasta, such as spirali! It’s a hangover from my childhood, where we’d have our weekly chicken served served in such a way. Although, we had the option – bread or pasta. I always chose pasta! However, with age comes wisdom, and I add rice to my soups to add the thick, carby goodness that the pasta of my childhood provided.
I’ve been making this soup a lot recently, due to it’s easiness. I am still suffering from fatigue after my Covid run-in back in March. It makes it difficult to know when I will have the energy to cook anything I may have had planned. Thankfully, this soup is so easy to prepare, no matter how fatigued I am it’s my go-to for reliable comfort. Yes, this soup is 100 percent my idea of comfort food.
Finally, regarding the recipe itself, you can use either chicken or vegetable stock, depending on your preference. If you want a little more protein, simply brown some finely chopped chicken thigh pieces to the soup after the onion is soft, and then continue with the rest of the recipe.
Hearty Vegetable Soup Recipe
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or rapeseed oil)
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 large carrots, finely diced
- 1 large parsnip, finely diced
- 2 medium potatoes, finely diced
- 1/2 swede (or turnip) finely diced
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup brown rice (or wild rice, or brown basmati rice)
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 6 cups of vegetable (or chicken) stock or broth
- Sprigs of Thyme, a Few Bay Leaves, Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook until soft - about 5 minutes.
- Next, add all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme, 2 or 3 bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a heavy simmer, and once simmering, cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for one hour, covered.
- Uncover, and simmer a further one hour, stirring occasionally.
- Serve hot.
- 8The soup can be simmered for many hours, with the soup growing thicker the longer it cooks.
- The soup can be refrigerated for several days and reheated.
- If the soup is too thick, upon reheating, stir through half a cup of hot water until desired thickness is achieved.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 199Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 382mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g
Please note, this nutrition information is to be used as a guide only. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.