Italian Garden Soup Recipe

italianborderI’m a big fan of “community cookbooks”!

You know – the ones that a women’s group might publish as a way to raise funds for a worthy cause. The recipes are often little gems! Most are family favorites, and some are family heirlooms – passed down from Grandma to Mom to Daughter!

I have a small collection of these books with tiny post-it notes marking my favorite recipes in all of them.

Here’s one . . . an easy recipe for soup!

Doesn’t it sound delicious? 🙂

Italian Garden Soup

2 Tbs. butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium clove garlic
1-1/2 c. thinly sliced carrots
1-1/2 c. thinly sliced celery
1 medium zucchini, sliced
28 oz. chicken broth
1 (16 oz.) can Italian tomatoes (reserve juice)
¼ tsp. oregano, crumbled
¼ tsp. basil, crumbled
1/8 tsp. pepper and salt
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Croutons (optional)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is soft (5 min.)
Add carrots, celery, and zucchini; sauté 4-5 minutes
Add chicken broth, tomatoes and reserved juice, oregano, basil, pepper and salt.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are “crisp tender” (10-15 min.)
Serve with Parmesan cheese and croutons.

A mug of this with half a grilled cheese sandwich???

Hmmm, hmmm! 😉


Still soup weather!

soupbowlFor many of us, it’s still cold and snowy – the perfect weather for soup. But even if you live in an area that’s experiencing milder temperatures, here’s a recipe that I think you’ll enjoy!

I first made “French Dip Soup” over a year ago and it was an immediate hit at our house! I’ll include my notes with a few hints and minor changes I’ve made to the original recipe by Rachael Ray.

So tasty and definitely a meal all by itself!

(If you’re reading this, Sir Beads-A-Lot, yes we can have it this weekend! 🙂 )


French Dip Soup
Rachael Ray, makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used salted).
6 large onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs thyme
1 fresh or dried bay leaf (I skipped this.)
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups beef stock
1/2 loaf crusty bread, torn into bite-size pieces and toasted (Get the bread ready first so you won’t have to stop and do it once the soup is finished.)
1 pound deli-style roast beef, shredded (Be sure to shred into bite-sized pieces!)
Grated parmesan cheese, optional (I used a “shredded” Parmesan so it wouldn’t melt/disappear immediately….. we love cheese!!)

stove Heat a deep pot over medium to medium-high heat. (A very large pot is needed as the 6 onions take a lot of space before they cook down a bit.) Add EVOO, about one turn of the pan, and butter to the pot. Add the onions to the pot as you slice them and the chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper then add thyme sprigs and a bay leaf. Cook the onions for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender, sweet and deep caramel-colored. (I found it took longer than 25 minutes – more like 35 – for the onions to get some color.) If the onions are burning in spots before browning all over, add a splash of water and stir every now and then, scraping the bottom of the pot.
Once the onions are tender and brown, add the white wine and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the beef stock and cover the pot to bring the soup up to a quick boil.
Place a few chunks of the toasted bread into each of four deep soup bowls or crocks and top the toast with a handful of the shredded roast beef. Once the soup reaches a boil, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, and ladle into bowls to cover the roast beef. If you like, top it off with a handful of grated parmesan cheese. (Again, I use a generous amount of shredded Parmesan as the grated cheese melts too quickly!)

Now I’m hungry!!! 😉