Brown bag meals: Our favorite lunch soup
Aaaah…soup. Who hasn’t discovered the warm, delicious delight of a perfect cup of soup? The current bevy of beautiful veggies makes it an ideal time to prepare a simmering dish that will provide a hearty supply of brown-bag lunches long after the season’s bounty has waned. This soup is quick and easy to make, and you can enjoy it for months to come when you long for a taste of fresh, just-from-the-garden goodness on a cold winter day. I suggest making this delicious recipe in one big batch and freezing it in individual portions (it makes about four servings).
Garden Vegetable Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Roma tomatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 yellow and/or red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, chopped into cubes
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil or 1 tbsp. dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat, adding the onion and sautéing until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic, cooking lightly (about 30 seconds). Stir in tomatoes and chicken broth, bringing to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Increase the heat and add corn, carrot, pepper, zucchini, celery, basil, salt and pepper, again bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until veggies are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
If you decide to freeze these portions for future use, let the soup cool slightly and then spoon into individual, freezer-safe containers. When you want to serve in the future, simply transfer the frozen soup container to the refrigerator the day before, and the portion will thaw enough to reheat at work when you’re ready.
Shopping list for Garden Vegetable Soup:
2 cloves garlic
4 Roma tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups fresh corn (5 to 7 ears, depending on size) or 1 package frozen corn kernels
1 medium carrot
1 yellow and/or red pepper
1 medium zucchini
1 medium celery stalk
1 small bunch fresh basil, or dried basil
Salt and pepper
Anita Bruzzese is an award-winning journalist. Her book, 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy...And How to Avoid Them, was named one of the top 10 most notable business books by the New York Post in 2007. For more information, visit her Website at 45things.com.
By Anita Bruzzese