Growing up, my mother would often make vegetable soup (not that I wanted any as a child). Now that I am older and the colder days are coming, I crave my vegetables and I am getting a bit tired of salads every day. I want something warm so I took my inspiration for this soup from minestrone, minus the beans and minus the pasta as my stomach is happier without those. I love the fresh vegetables, parmesan cheese, and a little heat for that inner warmth that soup is known for.
The prep work is extremely easy. I start with 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, a medium leek and 2 dozen cherry tomatoes.
Once I wash and cut the vegetables, I sauté the leeks and tomatoes in some olive oil over medium to high heat. After a few minutes, the leeks will start to wilt. At that point I add the carrots and celery, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes.
Before transferring the vegetables to the crock pot, I season the vegetables with salt and pepper, Italian spice, and chili flakes. If you don’t like a bit of heat you can skip the chili but this is a must for me.
Once the vegetables are in the crockpot, I add 6 C of broth. I know it is a vegetable soup but I really like chicken broth and, of course, I have my favourite brand. It is soothing and has more flavour but, of course, you can keep this all vegetarian with vegetable broth. I also add 1/4 C of grated parmesan and 4 minced cloves of garlic.
The process of the slow cooker makes all the flavours come together but what really finishes this off is one of my favourite superfoods, kale. There are many varieties. Some are green, others are purple. Some have curly leaves, others have flat leaves. The one I really like is Tuscan kale. It is easy to remove the leafy bits from the stalk by simply sliding your fingers along it. The leafy part will come right off.
Once the soup has cooked on low for 5 hours, I toss some diced kale into the hot soup. I add about 1/2 C to 1 C per serving depending on what you enjoy. I tend to add the kale right before serving so it doesn’t overcook. . .and this is how you make an awesome vegetable soup. Serve with crusty, rustic bread and enjoy.
Rustic Vegetable Soup
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium leek, chopped
24 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
3 C Tuscan kale, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian spice (dried)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili flake (dried)
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 C chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 C grated parmesan
4 cloves garlic, minced
1. Sauté the leek and tomatoes in olive oil for a few minutes over medium to high until the leek wilts.
2. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occassionally.
3. Mix in Italian spice, black pepper, salt, and chili flakes.
4. Transfer vegetable mixture into a crockpot.
5. Add broth, parmesan and garlic and stir.
6. Set crock pot for 5 hours on low.
7. Before serving, stir in kale.
Protein 7.6 g