A Healthy Tuscan Vegetable Soup — The New Girl

by in Recipes, May 29th, 2012

tuscan vegetable soup
When paired with a balanced diet, I believe that everyone is entitled to a food splurge every once in a while. I would be quite a grumpy person if I had to rid myself of treats forever. But I recently came to a rude realization that these eating sprees have become part of my everyday routine.

Working in an office full of food enthusiasts, it’s not surprising to find myself eating cake at 2 p.m. on a weekday. My love for burgers has me taste-testing my way through New York City in search of the best. And I add bacon to pretty much everything, cookies included. I decided that I need to make these indulgences more of what they’re meant to be, guilty pleasures to be enjoyed on occasion.

When I had this epiphany, I was determined to have a veggie-packed dinner right away. I was craving something hearty and didn’t want to feel like I was sacrificing a delicious dinner just to be healthy. Ellie always seems to have a solution for that and her Tuscan Vegetable Soup really is comfort food at its finest. Generally for me, that category entails something like a big bowl of mac and cheese, but this soup really fit the bill for a satisfying and feel-good meal.

This recipe is easy to make and can be enjoyed completely guilt-free. It’s loaded with carrots, celery, spinach, tomatoes and zucchini. But don’t let all the healthy stuff deter you. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that delicious doesn’t have to mean lots of fat and sugar. The mashed cannellini beans thicken the soup ever so slightly to a smooth and lovely consistency, and the garlic and fresh herbs add a depth of flavor. Enjoy with rustic country bread and top with Parmesan cheese and you’ll be craving this good-for-you soup often.

Here are few things to consider before making this recipe:

– Taste-test often and don’t be afraid of salt. As Alton and Anne would tell you, salt makes things taste the way they are meant to taste.

– If you can’t find a can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes, regular diced tomatoes (canned or fresh) will do. Just remember to taste often to know how much salt to add.

– This soup is very forgiving. I accidentally mashed all of the beans instead of just half and I loved the soup’s velvety texture. I also forgot about the zucchini and frantically added it at the last minute, but I liked having a bit of a crunch to each bite.

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