Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recipe | My 2nd Favorite Vegetable Soup

Some weeks, I feel like I blog more about food than anything else, especially my children.  Maybe it has something to do with the photos.  Food is a much more cooperative subject.   It stays still, it doesn't pull funny faces, it happily stays put in the best light.  But I promise, I'm not turning food blogger on you.  I've found though, that I do go in phases with my posts and my current one seems to be centered around eating.

Saturday it was chilly and rainy and I was craving vegetable soup.  We stayed in our Pjs till about 12:00 until I faked a call from The Fresh Market. Apparently, they had spotted ghosts stealing from the store and needed a Ghost Buster Team stat.  "Who You Gonna Call?" {Charlie spends most waking hours as Ghost Buster these days, with a make shift Proton Pack and a Ghost Bust-Ta-La-Tor {his term} for zapping ghosts.}

I gotta tell you, I've never seen 3 kids move faster.  Andrew, friend Payton, and Charlie were in the Ghost Buster mobile in less than 5 minutes and we were on our way, singing, "there's something weird, and it don't look good..." Once in the store, the three took off in a very stealth and silent ghost search while I shopped in peace filling the cart with necessary ingredients.  Come on. Brilliant, right?  I thought so.

My favorite vegetable soup in my Mum's but it is an all day, labor intensive affair, that I have been too intimidated {not to mention short on time} to tackle.  Over the years, I tried others in the hopes they would bring a bit of the same tasty comfort but they've all greatly disappointed, until I tried this one.  I think the secret is in the mashed up cannellini beans that are added to the broth. It gives the soup body and really good flavor that you just can't get with broth and tomatoes alone.  I've made a few tweaks to the original recipe to suit our liking.  Charlie LOVES this soup and gobbles it down with gusto and much appreciation. Andrew, not so much, but 1 out of 2 isn't bad! And it works just as well for a spring meal as it does for a winter one thanks to the mix of vegetables.

 15 oz cannellini beans, drain + rinse
2 TBS olive oil
1 c onion, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1.5 cup zucchini, peeled + diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
32 oz chicken broth
2.5 oz rough chopped baby spinach
14.5 oz fire roasted, diced, tomatoes

In a bowl mash half the beans with a masher and set aside.
Heat oil in a large soup pot {I use a large Le Creuset dutch oven} over med high heat.  Add onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, sage, salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.  Add broth and tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil.  Add the mashed beans and whole beans and spinach and let simmer for 35-45 minutes over low heat.  I topped the soup with little Parmesan + thyme toasted baguette slices that I put under the broiler for a couple minutes.


(recipe adapted from here)

*parental disclaimer ~ my boys have not actually seen the movie Ghost Busters.  charlie just loves the song and the youtube video of a ghost buster themed party.  just making sure... i know you were a bit worried. :)  


  1. LOL...I was wondering about the movie! My daughter is nearly 12 and isn't allowed to see it. It is a catchy tune though.

  2. There is nothing like a good vegetable soup -- especially for a cold rainy spring day! Your soup looks really good!

  3. Your ghost buster plan is hilarious (and brilliant!) Soup looks almost like one from a local restaurant we used to eat at when I was a little girl. Itt was my all time favorite soup. They have long ago closed, but I have been wanting to replicate that soup for I will have to try this... or you could just ship some down to Georgia for me. :)

  4. This looks delicious. I have a brownie recipe to share and as I was taking pics this afternoon I thought, 'man, is this turning into a food blog?" Too funny.

  5. You sound like the most fun mom! And your recipes are always appreciated...will have to add this one to the list to try!

  6. Cutest ghost busters I've ever seen! And really genius plan. Will have to figure out a princess version. I finally crock-potted a bean soup with our leftover Easter ham bone, which we'll enjoy tonight outside in this lovely weather. I think I'll the rose/parm baguettes - great idea.

  7. Tessa this looks so good and all the veggies make it kind of spring food too. Love cannellini beans in so much and was just reading tonight they have 2xs the iron of red meat as well as all the great fiber,etc. Charlie is so cute. love to hear those cute stories. I miss when my boys used to go everywhere with their superhero capes pinned under their chins!

    Kim :)

  8. What a little cutie with his ghost buster backpack! Yes, I think you had a brilliant idea. Smart mom, you are!
    What a coincidence ... I just made a minestrone soup tonight and the recipe called for mashing some of the cannellini beans to thicken the soup. Your recipe sounds wonderful. The recipe I used called for collard greens but I used fresh spinach instead, along with diced tomatoes, onion & garlic, thyme, some red pepper flakes and vegetable broth (in place of water). It was yummy. Like you, I have been feeling lately like my blog is more of a food blog, but that's okay by me. I LOVE food and LOVE to cook and share good recipes. You're right, photographing food is very satisfying and makes a great subject.

    Enjoying your blog,

    1. hi claudia ~ i think i'm going to start adding mashed up beans to all my soups! who knew?!! :) your minestrone soups sounds delish!! i made a lemon chicken orzo earlier this week that was crazy good too. i'll have to post that recipe soon. no mashed up beans in that one but maybe there should be! have a great weekend!!

  9. Making this soup as I write.... Just love your bog Tessa!!! Leslie~NB Canada

    1. Enjoy!! Wish it were soup weather here!! It's so warm all I'm eating are tomatoes and berries! Not together. xo

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  12. This was perfect for our rainy week in the bluegrass - so absolutely delicious. it's going in the 'favorite' pile! warmly, -melanie-

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