If you’re looking for a low calorie, low fat delicious vegetable soup that you can serve for Meatless Mondays – here it is. This recipe is packed full of winter veggies such as potatoes, leeks, and kale, all blending deliciously together with other healthy ingredients, to enhance your metabolism and nutritional intake.
I have to take a moment and mention that whenever I can afford to buy organic products and ingredients for my recipes, I do. I found that allergies are reduced tremendously and if you ever take a whiff of the veggies in the market before you buy them and compare (and if you don’t, you should), you will find that their scent is much more apparent than “regular” produce.
Whether you use organic ingredients or not, your soups are going to be just as fabulous without, so let’s get going!
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp. Herbes de Provence (or a combo of your favorites)
2 qts. Organic chicken or vegetable stock
1 large can (28 oz.) Organic diced tomatoes with juice
4 tbsp. (or more) prepared Basil pesto sauce
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium yellow squash (crookneck), diced
1 large bunch kale, pulled back from the stalks and washed
1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over a medium flame, heat the olive oil and add the garlic, celery, carrots, onions, potatoes and herbs. Cook stirring often until the potatoes start to look opaque. Add the stock, tomatoes and pesto sauce - bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes more.
2. Tear the kale into smaller pieces and add to the pot, pushing it down as you go, along with the squash and cilantro. Cook for approximately 5 - 7 minutes or until the squash is fork tender and the kale is soft but not chewy.
Cooking Tip: You can add/subtract the amount of pesto as you wish to suit your taste. Honestly, I love the taste of pesto in some soups as it adds an aromatic and delicious flavor to the pot. You can change the green here for maybe collard or mustard greens, broccoli rabe (rapini) etc. and blanch that ahead of time for 3 minutes and then adding to the pot at the last minute to heat through (can be done a day ahead).
Serves 6 - 8 as a starter.
P.S. You can always add some cooked, chopped chicken or turkey breast, cannellini or other beans for protein as you wish.