Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pesto Soup and Pickles

I made a soup a couple weeks ago that London loved so I decided to make it again and this time document with pictures and add it to my vegetarian dinner blog entries.  It is a great summer soup but I don't like to eat a lot of soup in the summer.  You can use all your frozen vegetables from the summer in it or use fresh.  (I used fresh except the tomatoes which I used frozen ones from the garden.)  This is a pretty great soup that you can add any veggies that you like or have on hand and it works out perfectly.  I made it differently both times and both times the kids liked it.  (We did too.)

Pesto Vegetable Soup

olive oil
1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth
1/2 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic diced
1 zucchini sliced or halved and sliced
1 yellow squash sliced or halved and sliced
2 medium carrots
1 medium parsnip
1 can of cannelini beans
a bunch of green beens cut to about an inch in length
handful of mushrooms, quartered
half a can of corn, no salt added
2 tablespoons of pesto - homemade or bought ( I tend to add a bit more because we are pesto lovers.)
salt and pepper to taste

*Last time I made this soup I added broccoli and kale and I didn't use as much zucchini and I didn't have the parsnip.  It really is a flexible soup.

Heat your olive oil on medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute for a bit.  Add carrots and parsnips and saute.  Add broth and let simmer until carrots are tender.  Add the rest of your vegetables and beans.  (If adding kale or spinach add that later so it stays together.)  Simmer.  Before serving add the pesto and salt and pepper to taste.  Once dished up and I like to grate some parmesan on top and slice up some yummy crusty bread.  Easy and full of flavor!

I finally found a brand of pickles that does NOT have added color.  I stopped buying pickles because of the added artificial colors that more brands add into their jars to make the pickles look more green.  Fresh pickled cucumbers are not bright green, they are dull colored and so much better for you.  There are some links to artificial colors and ADD and ADHD and hyperactivity in kids.  (Google it for yourself.)  I like to try and avoid artificial colors, especially in my cooking.  Here is my plug for pickles.   Farmer's Garden by Vlasic.  The only iffy ingredient is Calcium chloride.  Which is used to give the salty taste without adding the extra sodium.  This brand of pickles, I have bought a couple different varieties now, always comes with carrots and peppers on the bottom, a delicious treat.  I hope you enjoy the soup and if you buy these pickles the pickles too!