Vegetarian-Vegan-Super-Healthy Italian Wedding Soup
Sunday is my "Gas-Up" Day--the day I fill my tank to get ready for the week ahead. Huh?
"What am I talking about?" you ask.
When I was a kid, on Sunday evening my dad would always say, "Be right back. I'm going to "gas up" the tank for the week." And off he drove to the gas station.
When all systems are go--here's what's on my Sunday "fill-the-tank" list. It gets me ready for the upcoming week, in case my exercise & cooking plans fall apart:
1. Sunday Morning Spinning class at the gym
2. Followed by the Sunday Morning Yoga class
3. Cook a big one-dish supper that's large enough for dinner on Sunday & Monday--and maybe a lunch or two.
4. Put the house in "reasonable order" and do the laundry.
Something always seems to get in the way of my "fill-the-tank" list--and last Sunday was no exception. Here's how it went down:
1. I went to the Spinning & Yoga classes, but "as usual" I yakked & kibbitzed with friends way too long--and I got home an hour later than planned.
2. Sunday was too beautiful to waste inside--so within 30 minutes of arriving home, I hit the shower, wolfed down lunch, and my husband and I were "out the door" on a Fall afternoon exploration.
3. We headed to "areas unknown" and enjoyed what might be the last Sunday of sunshine, Fall colors, and warm temperatures.
4. By 4:45 as we neared our local grocery store, I dashed in to get some spinach, 2 cans of white beans, and celery for my Sunday "fill-the-tank" dinner. I moved quickly through the store--dodging anyone I might know. No time for talking. I was in a hurry. Dinner needed to be table-ready by 5:45--the latest.
5. By 6:15 pm we had to head out the door again to drive across town for the last night of a Film Festival that we had made a commitment to attend. It was a French film called, Bad Faith. Good not great.
So...I'm here to tell you that my Vegan/Vegetarian Version of Italian Wedding Soup can be table-ready in 30 minutes--with more than enough leftover for Monday night dinner!
Vegan-Vegetarian-Super-Healthy Italian Wedding Soup Rapido
Serves 6--adapted from a Feb. 2006 Gourmet Magazine recipe.
I've been making this for almost 3 years--and it really can be made in 30 minutes!
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth for "sauteeing the vegetables"
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 celery rib, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (Fast version--use 1 1/4 cups of pre-shredded carrots
- 2 quarts of Imagine's Organic No-Chicken broth--or other all vegetarian broth NOTE: the No-Chicken Broth makes the tastiest version, but fair warning: it's not low-salt! (I've tried it with Pacific & TJ's low-sodium vegetable broth & I like the No-Chicken better for this soup.)
- 16 ounce package of Trader Joe's frozen Meatless Meatballs, or Nate's Zesty Italian Meatless Meatballs Do not thaw! (I don't use "fake meat" often--but these meatballs rock, and aren't loaded with junk) NOTE: I've also made this with 8 ounces of "meatballs" I prebaked made from MATCH Italian Sausage No-Meat and it was excellent, too. The soup works just fine with 8 ounces of "meatballs", too!
- 2 (14-ounce) cans small white or cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (5- to 6-ounces) bag baby spinach (add more if you want more greens)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Optional vegetarian version: the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano to mix in, & sprinkle on top. You really won't miss the cheese if you're going vegan.
- Heat 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a 5- to 6-quart pot over high heat until hot, then cook onions, garlic, celery, and carrots, stirring occasionally, until onions are pale golden, about 6-10 minutes.
- Option: While the vegetables brown--you can "brown" your frozen "meatballs" in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. I've never done this step--but I think it's worth trying. I usually just add the unthawed meatballs straight into the soup.
- Stir in broth and bring to a boil, covered.
- Add the "browned" or "straight from the freezer unthawed" meatballs to the soup along with the beans and briskly simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and meatballs are heated through, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and pepper and simmer, uncovered, until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. If you are adding the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or a vegan substitute) do it now.
- Taste, and adjust seasonings.
Imagine, in 30 minutes you've got a one-dish-meal on the table--loaded with beans, greens, and fresh vegetables. It's definitely company fare.
Serve with a salad, if you have the time. I didn't!
Nutrition Facts based on a 2 cup serving
Vegan Italian Wedding Soup Rapido 2 cup serving
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|