We’ve all had days when there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do anything; the workout goes on hold, all thoughts of makeup fly out the window (ha — who am I kidding? This is almost every day!), and even eating gets back-burnered. The end of the day rolls around and there’s half an hour to dinner; you’re famished and looking for some quick dinner inspiration…here it is!
This soup is perfect for that kind of day. It’s on the table in about half an hour, full of healthy things, and completely customizable. It’s vegetarian, but you could make it vegan by omitting the Worcestershire sauce, or beef it up a bit (pun intended ;) ) by adding browned ground beef or even cooked, shredded chicken. I like to serve it with crackers or crusty bread, but you could add cooked noodles to the soup if you like. And of course, swap out the veggies for any you have on hand.
Serves 4 to 6
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 oz cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 medium onions, diced
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 large stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves)
1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
2 bay leaves
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
5 cups hot water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce*
2 soft vegetable-flavored bouillon cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 (16 oz) can dark red kidney beans (no salt added), rinsed and drained
1 (16 oz) can cannellini beans (no salt added), rinsed and drained
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a lidded 5-quart pot; add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the onion, carrot, and celery; cover the pot and cook until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomato, water, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon cubes, salt, and pepper; turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down slightly, cover the pot, and cook until the veggies are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the beans and cook 2 minutes more.
*To make this soup vegan, look for a vegan Worcestershire sauce, or use tamari or soy sauce instead of Worcestershire; if you do so, you may want to reduce the salt a bit.