I've been a vegetarian since I was 8 years old, with varying levels of success. I don't really cook much, but I threw together this soup a few months ago and now I make a pot of it every week and it's totally yummy. The breakthrough came from watching the Food Network, when I saw Giada De Laurentiis put a soup in the blender. What a novel idea! It was just what I needed to know to create this soup.
2 cartons low sodium veggie stock (I like Full Circle)
1 large red bell pepper
1 bunch of celery
Carrots (I use all different sizes and shapes, so judge for yourself)
1/4 sweet onion
3 cloves of garlic (pressed)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 can tomato paste
1 can Great Northern beans
(put in strainer and run water over them to remove excess sodium)
1 tsp sea salt
cumin, thyme, basil, parsley, Spike All-Purpose Seasoning
Optional: Tabasco sauce, crushed red pepper & cayenne pepper (I am crazy for hot stuff), 1tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce, 1 veggie bouillon cube (I like Maggi - if you add this, add 2 extra cups of water)
Starting with a big soup pot, on medium heat, put olive oil in the bottom and add chopped onion and pressed garlic. Sautee for a few minutes, stirring and coating the bottom of the pot with oil.
Next, add chopped celery, chopped red pepper, chopped carrots and sea salt. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add one carton of veggie stock and turn heat up to med-high. Let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Keep on med-high heat, add the other container of vegetable stock. Add Great Northern beans. Season to taste. Cook for about an hour.
Turn off heat and let soup sit, uncovered, for about 45 minutes.
Take out blender and a large storage bowl with lid. Fill blender halfway with soup, blend to a smooth consistency (can be more chunky if you choose). Pour soup into storage bowl. Continue doing this until finished and store the soup in the fridge.
I have also prepared the following separately and added to soup when I felt like it: white rice, quinoa, extra firm tofu
Try it and let me know what you think!