Winter is here at last! And Tucson has been hit by the same chilly stroke of arctic air that the rest of the country is dealing with. Sweater weather days are fewer here than in the northern parts of our country so we like to enjoy them when they happen. This started out as a recipe from “The Garden of Vegan” cookbook, but I didn’t have everything I needed, so I decided to make it my own. Which, if we’re being honest, is really the best part of cooking. I’m not sure I was a huge fan of the olives in this soup. I would rather just cram them all into my mouth as fast as possible instead of plop them into a pot of soup and wait around for everything to be finished. That said, this soup wasn’t half bad and I’ll probably make it again. Only next time I’ll put the olives on the side.
Erin’s Bean and Olive Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch lengths
2 medium carrot, diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 small zucchini, diced
1-2 15-oz. cans white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can Kalamata olives, drained, pitted and sliced
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tomato, diced for garnish
parmesan or mozzarella cheese, to garnish
1. Saute the onions, garlic and carrots in the olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat.
2. Add the vegetable stock, asparagus, zucchini, beans, olives, salt and pepper, oregano, basil, tomato paste, red wine vinegar and lemon juice.
3. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
4. Simmer 10-15 minutes or till vegetables are cooked through.
5. Garnish the soup with the parsley and fresh tomato and cheese, if desired.