Even though the weather out here in San Diego is significantly warmer than what we're used to back east, last week we were having serious soup cravings. I've only attempted soup once or twice and both times they were...just not good. Also, soup is sort of complicated. So much chopping, bean soaking and pre-soup making work! I just literally want to throw things in a pot and have them taste good in a relatively short amount of time, right? I figure if I can get a base recipe down, it'll be easy to tweak it and change it up whenever we need to.
I looked at a few recipes online for inspiration and decided to take a chance - I was going to wing it. No recipe, and I was going to use almost all canned, boxed or frozen ingredients because I wanted things I could always have on hand to throw together. And you know what? Ty ate 3 bowls of it!!!
Yeah, I made my own recipe up, it tasted good, was healthy AND was cheap. Maybe I can cook on the west coast? I don't know, but we'll definitely make this again.
Veggie, Bean and Lentil Soup
1/2 pound lentils
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 can diced tomatoes
36 oz chicken broth (or veggie broth)
2-3 cups frozen veggies of your choice
1/2 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
1/4 cup diced onion
First, Ty almost gave me a heart attack when I got home for work to make this and he said he thought the lentils had to soak for multiple hours before you cooked them. Thankfully, this is not true BUT they do need to be cooked for 30 minutes or so first, so follow the instructions on the package and to make it easier, cook them in the same pot you're going to make the soup in, less dishes!
Then, dump all of the next 5 ingredients (kidney beans down to frozen veggies) into the pot with your now cooked lentils. Keep the heat on medium high. While that's warming up - you're using stuff that doesn't technically need to be cooked, score one for Jess - saute the diced onions in a pan until they start to get a little brown. When the onions are ready, pour the 1/2 cup of wine into the pan with them to deglaze it. This is the only cooking step in this recipe and you get to use a fancy term too!
Let the wine reduce down by half and then dump it and the onions in the pot too. Add in some Italian seasoning, or whatever you're in the mood for, cover the pot and let it come to a boil. Once it boils, all of the frozen veggies should be cooked and the beans plenty warm. I also added in a little Louisiana hot sauce to spice it up a little :) and I believe Ty topped his with shredded cheese.
That's it! Minimal cooking, minimal dishes, and it was really good. You can use any type of beans that you want and I think next time we'll probably add even more veggies, but I feel pretty confident about this soup. Bonus, all of the ingredients are things I can keep on hand without worrying about them going bad before we eat them. Also, it makes plenty for leftovers, we even froze some of it to reheat later.
Do you have an easy soup recipe that you love? Or have you tried soups before and they never come out quite like you want them?