Italian Tomato Vegetable Soup

I know it’s mid-May but this month can play tricks on us and a warm bowl of soup is great on a cool or rainy day. My latest kitchen creation explodes with flavour and is packed with a nutritional punch. Tomatoes contain lycopene which gives them their red colour. One of the biggest benefits of lycopene is that it is an antioxidant and protects the body of damage from free radical stress. This soup has a creamy consistency that comes from blending the chickpeas - chickpeas are nutrient dense providing fiber and protein. The remaining veggies add vitamins and minerals and a fibre boost as well. Enjoy this hearty & super healthy bowl of soup!

INGREDIENTS:

(Yields 2 mason jars of soup)

  • 1 398 ml can of chickpeas

  • 1 796 ml can of Italian peeled tomatoes in tomato puree with basil leaf (if you can’t find them with basil leaf - add 1tbsp of dried basil)

  • 1 496 ml box of reduced sodium vegetable broth

  • 1 large white onion

  • 1 cup of diced carrots

  • 1 cup of diced celery

  • 2 cups of diced zucchini

  • 2 cloves of garlic minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large soup pot add 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté chopped onion for about 5 minutes until softened and golden brown.

  2. Add minced garlic to the onions and stir for two minutes on very low heat.

  3. Pour in the can of drained chickpeas and the entire box of vegetable broth.

  4. Add the salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.

  5. Take a hand blender to the pot and puree the chickpeas and onions in the broth - or remove the entire mixture to a blender to combine. Blend until mostly smooth, some chickpeas can be left whole.

  6. Add the entire can of peeled tomatoes and juice to the liquid in the pot - use your immersion blender to partially break up the tomatoes into small pieces or you can cut the tomatoes up in bowl before you add them into the pot with all of the tomato juice from the can included.

  7. Then add the remaining vegetables - carrots, celery and zucchini - cover the pot and bring to a boil - reduce to simmer and leave on low heat for 40 mins.