If you are looking to eat more vegetables but don’t have all day to spend in the kitchen then you definitely want to find a few good staple vegetable soup recipes. Because trust me, if you have a big pot of this Tuscan vegetable soup ready-made in your refrigerator then you will definitely eat more vegetables 😉
I often find myself eating the soup for breakfast, my husband usually grabs a bowl when he come home from work (the soup holds him over for a few hours before we eat dinner) and our 17-year old son eats it throughout the day as a snack.
When it comes to optimizing nutrition, eating more vegetables (and fruit!) is one of the most important things you can do. In my opinion, the biggest diet mistake people make is not eating anywhere near the optimal amount of vegetables (and fruit). And why don’t people eat more vegetables? I would say the top three reasons people give include:
- Vegetables don’t taste good.
- Vegetables take too long to prepare.
- Fresh vegetables often go bad before they get around to cooking them.
The Tuscan vegetable soup truly is tasty (if I do say so myself!), takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and the vegetables won’t go bad once you cook them into a soup. Plus, you will have plenty of leftovers—so you cook once and eat twice, three times or more. If you have the soup made I guarantee you will eat more vegetables!
Parmesan Cheese and REAL Tuscan Vegetable Soup…
I suppose if I was making a real Tuscan vegetable soup recipe then I would add a Parmesan cheese rind, or at the very least sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese just before serving.
But if you have our book, you know I am not a big fan of dairy (here are 10 reasons I don’t drink milk.) Although I do still eat a wee-bitty bit of good quality cheese here and there, I try to use nut-cheese whenever possible (here are my favorite dairy free cheese brands). For my Tuscan vegetable soup recipe, I usually sprinkle on a few tablespoons of my plant-based nut cheese recipe made from macadamia nuts. The nut cheese recipe takes less than 10 minutes of hands on prep time and keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator.
Of course you can always add a few tablespoons of a good quality organic parmesan cheese too if you want it to be truly authentic…just make sure you are getting the real deal Parmesan.
Finish with Lemon
Oh! And the best way to brighten up just about any soup on the planet, including this Tuscan vegetable soup recipe, is to add a squeeze of lemon juice at the very end. Lemon juice is not exactly authentically “Tuscan”, but it does wonders for livening everything up. I have already added lemon juice to the recipe but feel free to serve extra lemon wedges at the table!Print
- -One can (15 ounces cannellini or other small white beans, drained and rinsed-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil-1 cup chopped onion-1 cup chopped carrots-1 cup chopped celery-1 small zucchini, chopped-2 teaspoons minced garlic-1 tablespoon Italian seasoning-1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, plus more to taste-1/4 teaspoon black pepper-5 cups organic vegetable broth-One can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, with their juice (see notes)-3 cups baby spinach -2 tablespoons lemon juice)
- In a small bowl, mash half of the beans with a potato masher and set aside.Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5-minutes. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and serve!
For this particular recipe, I especially like Delallo Organic brand Italian diced plum tomatoes in heavy juice.