Yes, those are little carrot hearts! Isn’t that sweet? This is my husband’s veggie soup recipe which has always been a family favorite. One Valentine’s Day, being the romantic that he is (cough, cough) he made it special for the occasion, turning the carrots into little love messengers! Since that day, the recipe has been known as Love Soup!
Love Soup Step By Step:
First, assemble your ingredients:
Note: Those two suspicious looking jars in the back are NOT salsa. Those are home grown tomatoes from last summer which have been blended, cooked and frozen in quart containers. In leiu of frozen or fresh blended tomatoes, you can use canned tomatoes, but I’m warning you: The flavor will not be near as good and I will not be held responsible for the results!
In addition to the items shown, you will also need:
1-2 Tbsp Oil – Olive or Canola
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning Blend
Salt & Pepper
1-2 Jalepeno Peppers OR 1/2 Green Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
First, put oil into a LARGE stock pot (this makes a ton of soup – about 8-9 quarts). Now chop 1 large, or two medium, onions and add to the pot:
Next, chop 4 stalks celery. Dont leave out the leaves! (Oooh, I made a funny!)
Throw the celery into the pot with the oil and onions.
Chop 10-12 carrots.
If you are looking for a romantic evening, you can cut them into hearts. Heres how:
Cut a “V” into one side of the carrot. Using a vegetable peeler, scale down the sides into the shape of a heart, and into a slight point opposite your cut-in “V”. Like this:
Now, slice the length of the carrot.
Aren’t they precious?
Almost too cute to put in the pot, but do it anyway.
Turn on the heat and cook until onions and celery are slightly tender.
While they are cooking, you can chop your potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.
Add them to the pot.
If you are going to take a photo at this point, don’t get too close.
If you do, this is what will happen:
Then, you will have to clean your lens.
Add vegetable broth to the pot.
Drain and rinse 3 – 15 oz cans of beans. You can use whatever variety you like.
These are Light Red Kidney, Great White Northern, and Black Beans.
They look very happy together, don’t they?
Add the beans to the pot. Then, chop 1/2 head cabbage.
Throw it in!
Now, add the tomatoes and stir. Place some of the soup mixture into your blender container.
You’ll want it to be about 2/3 full. Like this:
Take it for a spin!
Then, pour it in!
It looks gross, I know. But you must trust me.
Add 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning:
We use a lot of this stuff, so I bought it in bulk.
Here is the label:
I order most of my herbs and spices from Monterey Bay Spice Company and from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Monterey Bay: www.herbco.com
Mountain Rose: www.mountainroseherbs.com
Mountain Rose caters more to the organic product line, but both have great deals on bulk products. You will pay WAY less for a 1/2 pound at either distributor than you do in the grocery store for a tiny little 2 oz bottle. Just don’t order more than you can use in a six month period, because you don’t want your herbs to lose their health and taste benefits!
Now, for the other seasonings:
2 tsp Black pepper & 2 tsp Salt
How’s everybody doing in there? Okay? Good.
Now, for my favorite….Garlic! You need 10 cloves.
Mince them up and add them to the pot.
Incidentally, an easy way to peel the garlic is to place the cloves (or the whole head in this case) into the microwave on high for about 15 seconds. When you cut the end of each clove, the skin should just slide right off.
Look! It’s a CHILLY Pepper! (hehehehehe)
These guys just came out of the freezer, and actually they are Jalapenos from our garden last year. We just wash, dry and freeze them whole in ziploc freezer bags.
Remove the end and seed the peppers:
These guys are ready for a dip in the “hot tub”, I think.
But I know what you’re thinking.
What about the corn? Did she forget about the corn?
No. I would never be so cruel.
The corn is special. We wait to add it until after the soup is blended.
You are going to have to take my word for it, because I didn’t take a photo, but ours went in now.
Then we lightly sprinkled in some crushed red pepper flakes for a little zip.
If foam develops on the top of the pot during cooking, just skim it off.
You’ll need to cook this soup over low/medium heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring every so often.
Then, remove the peppers and let it cool. DON”T EAT IT!
Okay…one little taste, just to check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed. But don’t get carried away. You really have to wait until the following day for the flavors to fully develop.
Heat and serve topped with parmesan cheese, with a nice crusty bread or crackers on the side. This soup is so healthy and satisfying and completely guilt free, so no matter if you have more than a couple bowls!
Enjoy! And by the way, since you have SO much soup to share, invite the neighbors over to enjoy it along with you!