Easy “Fool-Proof” Vegetable Soup

This is one of the first soups that I ever learned to make. Over the years, I have tweaked it to the point that I don’t really remember the original recipe.  This soup is my stand-by.  Whenever I know that I’m going to have a week full of long hours, I make this soup on Sunday.  Then all I have to do is microwave the soup, toast some bread, and I’ve got a meal in under 10 minutes that is not too heavy to eat late at night.

Add this to your repertoire (or use it to start your repertoire, whichever may be the case), as it is simple to prepare, delicious to eat and good for you too.  Most importantly, you get a lot of bang for your buck because it makes about 6 servings for a total cost of less than $15 – even at Whole Foods type pricing.

I say it is fool-proof because you really can’t mess it up. If you can chop some vegetables, open a can, and turn on the stove without chopping off a digit or lighting yourself on fire, you can make this soup. Serves 6 and freezes well.


Qty Item
1 tblspn Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, diced
2 Carrots, diced
1 Yellow Squash, diced
4-6 cloves Garlic, diced or smashed
15-20 leaves Kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1/2 cup Wild or Brown Rice
1 can (28-32 oz) Pureed tomatoes (also called “strained”)
1/2 cup Full-bodied Red Wine (optional)
1 sprig Fresh Rosemary
2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
2 sprigs Fresh Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper to taste


1.  Wash and prepare all the vegetables.

2.  Pour oil into a dutch oven or sauce pot that holds at least 3 quarts and warm the oil on medium heat.

3.  Place onions in the pot and sauté until brown (about 10-15 mins).  Then add carrots and squash and sauté until they just start to soften (about 5-10 mins). Then add garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 2 mins).  Then add the kale and sauté until just beginning to wilt (about 1 min).

4.  Add the chicken / vegetable stock, the rice, the tomatoes and the wine, if using, and stir everything together.

5.  Tie the herbs together with cooking twine and throw them in the pot.  If you don’t have cooking twine just throw them into the pot – the twine just makes it easier to remove the herbs at the end.

6.  Bring the pot to a boil for just a minute, then lower the heat to a simmer and partially cover the pot.  Cook on low until the rice is cooked (wild/brown rice = approx. 50 mins).

7.  Towards the last 10 minutes of cooking time, season to taste with salt and pepper.  When the rice is cooked (tender, but not mushy), remove from heat and re-season with salt and pepper as necessary and serve.  You can also stir about a tablespoon of butter into the pot before serving for extra richness, but its not necessary.

Notes: (1) To give it some kick, add a crushed red chili pepper.  (2) I think it’s better with home-made chicken stock, but the store-bought works very well so long as it is low sodium. (3) If, while it is cooking it starts to get thick, just add water to get to the consistency you like.  (4)  You can switch out the vegetables as you like – just be mindful of the cooking time of the vegetable.  For instance, I used fresh string beans instead of squash for this batch and added them in 15 mins before the soup finished.


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  1. #1 by Rosa C. on November 9, 2011 - 11:18 AM

    The photos make me want to cook this immediately.

  2. #2 by michelle nash on November 9, 2011 - 9:00 AM

    Thank you for inviting me to visit the site! I love it and cannot wait to try the recipes!

  1. Recipe Box Confession « Moving Girl

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