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Are you like me and your kids have gone back to school recently?  Mine started back last Monday and though we packed a lot into the summer, including a lot of mornings lazing about in our pj’s, I am sort of ready to get back into some type of routine.

One of the things that is on my mind is what to serve for dinner Monday through Friday.  I want to change it up a little this school year.  I was thinking of planning out a couple of weeks of menus for each month and then posting it in our kitchen.   I plan to share them here on Main St. Cuisine.

I’m not sure how this is going to go over.  Have any of you tried this?

My family likes is starting to like soups for dinner.  They especially enjoy them if I have some fresh-baked bread or rolls to accompany them.

This soup is from Martha Stewart.  If I’ve not told you before, I adore vegetable soup.  And, I really like the idea of a use what you have in the veggie drawer to make a soup concept.

So, follow along with me today as we make some:

If vegetable soup isn’t your thing, may I suggest this?  With college football in full swing, I think you’d be pretty popular at your next tailgating soirée with a  slow cooker filled with baked potato soup.  Just a thought.

{Please take a peek in your vegetable drawer right now to see what you have.}

You’ll need 8 cups of mixed fresh (or frozen) vegetables.  I used mostly fresh, but did add a can of rinsed and drained Cannellini beans.  I began by prepping all of the vegetables, including these haricot verts.

I had some fresh zucchini from a friend’s garden to include in the soup.

I also used 1 peeled and diced Russet potato.

And, I found a small bag of baby carrots which I chopped and the can of organic cannellini beans from Whole Foods.  I hope I mentioned that this soup is excellent for cleaning out your vegetable drawer and pantry.

After prepping the vegetables you’re ready to begin.  Start by heating 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add 2 cups of chopped onions  and 2 tsp of Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add 3 14 1/2-ounce cans of chicken broth, 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes and their juice, 1 tbsp of tomato paste, and 3 cups water to pot; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Now you’re ready to add the 8 cups of vegetables to the pot, and return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I thought this is the perfect soup for a weeknight dinner.  For my children, I added some cooked orzo to their portions.  I tend to keep all manner of tiny pasta on hand in the pantry to add to soups.

Big Batch Vegetable Soup

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart and may be found here.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions or thinly sliced leeks (whites only)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups mixed fresh or frozen vegetables, such as carrots, corn, green beans, lima beans, peas, potatoes, and zucchini (cut larger vegetables into smaller pieces)

Method

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions or leeks, celery, and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add broth, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, and 3 cups water to pot; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.
Add vegetables to pot, and return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Let cool before storing.

Yield: 8 servings

Thank you for visiting today.  I’ll see you again tomorrow.

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