Vegetable soups can be a bit bland and boring, but this Italian vegetable soup is anything but. One of the tastiest soups ever, it is chock full of vegetables. The secret ingredient is the basil.
Half the soup is pureed and used as a thickener. This makes the soup thick and hearty, but leaves plenty of delicious chunks of vegetables.
Enjoy it with thick slices of crusty bread.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup (tightly packed) basil leaves
2 cans chopped tomatoes
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 medium zucchini, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful baby spinach leaves
Extra basil leaves for garnish
How to Make
Chop the onion, peel and chop the carrots, slice the zucchini and peel and dice the potatoes.
Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pot. Add the onion and cook over low heat until they begin to brown and caramelize, this will take about 10 – 15 minutes. But do remember to keep a close eye on them and stir from time to time as onion tends to burn if left alone.
Finely chop the basil and add to the pot, along with the tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and potatoes. Add the stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat. Cover the pot and simmer over a medium heat for 25- 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the spinach and cook uncovered until tender, for a further 5 minutes.
When the soup is cooked, remove from the heat. Spoon about half the soup into a food processor and process until pureed. Return the pureed soup to the pot and stir through the remaining soup. Heat through and add seasoning if required.
Ladle into soup bowls and top with extra basil leaves. Shave parmesan cheese over the top if desired.
Serve with crusty bread.
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