It’s still winter here in Switzerland, and although I could easily live without it, I must say that on a bright and sunny day, winter can be breathtaking. On these days, I love snowshoeing or simply taking a winter walk. Breathe in the chilly and crisp air, enjoy the sun on my face, snow crunching underfeet.
And when you come home, enjoy a hot and hearty vegetable soup. Thank god for my friend Lisa who once gave me this recipe. Ever since it’s been one of my winter favorites, just perfect to comfort the winter soul! If veggie soup doesn’t sound hearty enough to you, you can simply add some chunks of beef and make a stew.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized onion (chopped)
2 carrots (peeled and thinly sliced)
2 ribs celery
4-5 medium potatoes (diced)
5-6 ounces baby spinach (chopped)
1 can red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)*
1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)*
1 can diced tomatoes in natural juice*
3 cans vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
salt and pepper
bite-sized chunks of beef
crusty bread for the table
*I’m not a fan of canned produce, but legumes, which are dried and need to be soaked in water anyways, are an exception. Canned tomatoes are (especially during winter months) the more flavorful alternative to fresh (watery) greenhouse ones.
1. Heat a deep pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, bay leaf and Old Bay seasoning. Cover pot and cook veggies, 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add beans, tomatoes and season with a little salt and pepper. Add broth (and if you want some beef) and bring to a boil. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes longer.
3. Remove from heat and stir in spinach. Serve with crusty bread!