Summer Vegetable Soup

I like to serve this healthful soup with a simple frittata (a baked Italian omelette) and good bread. It’s a wonderful summer meal to enjoy outside on the porch.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter or trans fat-free and dairy-free buttery spread
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large organic sweet onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large cloves organic garlic, sliced
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 small organic carrots, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 4 large ribs organic celery, with leaves, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 3 large ripe organic heirloom tomatoes, chopped, including juices
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 cup chopped organic Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 10 fresh organic basil leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large bunches organic Toscano kale, about pounds, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 3 medium organic potatoes, diced
  • 5 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • cup tiny pasta bits, pastina or acini de pepe

Method

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onions and garlic, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened but not brown.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, tomato, water, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. Raise the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, at a medium-low boil for abut 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale, and stir well to combine. Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 30 minutes or until the celery is crisp-tender. Add the potatoes and zucchini. Cover and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are barely tender. Stir in the pasta bits, cover, and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Taste for seasonings.