Tomato Vegetable Soup

Tomato Vegetable Soup with Beans
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down. I am showing my age with that bad song lyric. And rainy days and Mondays really don't get me down. On rainy days, I cook, cook, cook. No better way to spend a day. And on Mondays, those 3 kids of mine are back at school after our 48 hours of quality time together. Ok, it's not Monday, but it is raining. Time to plan the menus.

After making a shopping list, I was off on no less than 3 stops to get my ingredients for my day of culinary creations as well as the necessary household supplies of toilet paper and laundry detergent. This week includes, Stuffed Manicotti on a Bed of Sauteed Spinach, Tomato Vegetable Soup and Pizza Bread, and Pan Seared Chicken Breats with Sage Gravy, Stuffing and Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower.

First up was the soup. I overlook the ease at which soups can be thrown together. The chopping, sauteing, and simmering were well on their way in 30 minutes. I made enough soup for about 16 servings; I like to hand deli containers of soup to friends.

Along with a salad and more slices of bread than I care to count, I am truly happy. The Husband said the green beans were a tad to hard for his liking. What does he know? It was perfect. My neighbor said that was her favorite aspect of the soup. I adapted the recipe from the Pasta E Fagioli from one of my go-to cookbooks.

Tomato Vegetable Soup

serves 14 with leftovers - YEA!

4 slices of bacon, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 zucchini, diced
4 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
2 cans (28 ounce) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 1/2 ounce) kidney beans
1 can (15 1/2 ounce) cannellini beans
8 cups chicken stock - I even made homemade
2 cups water
2 cups green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

In a large stock pot over medium high heat, cook the bacon until almost crisp. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 10 minutes or until translucent and beginning to just brown. Add zucchini, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes and continue cooking for 3 – 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and their juices, the beans, stock and water.  Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes. Add the green beans and cook until they just begin to lose their crunch, about 5 minutes. Add Parmesan and stir to melt. Season with salt and pepper.

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