Rainbow Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup
Alexandra Grablewski/Getty Images
Total Time 45 min
Prep 10 min, Cook 35 min
Yield 9 cups (72 calories each)

We've all heard nutritionists say, "eat the rainbow," and this soup is a great way to do just that. In fact, that's what makes rainbow soup unique—while it is generally challenging to eat all of the colors of fruits and vegetables at one meal, rainbow soup makes it possible. Rainbow vegetable soup has vegetables from all the color groups, so it is filled with lots of antioxidants and other nutrients for your family.

Despite the unusual seasoning combination of sweet paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, and hot sauce, this vegetable soup is one that people tend to love. You can put leftover turkey or chicken in it, but it can stand on its own without meat. It is also good with beans or chickpeas if your diet allows.  If you have any fresh herbs around, feel free to throw them in as well.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (2 1/2 inches in diameter), chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped carrot, or chopped pumpkin, if available
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinammon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A little hot sauce
  • One 15-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth
  • 10 ounces frozen or fresh green beans 
  • 1 large leaf of chard, spinach, or kale, cut into thin strips, about 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. In a large soup pot, simmer oil, onion, and celery. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes to develop more sweetness in the onion.

2. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium and add the peppers and carrots. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes and add the spices. Stir and cook until fragrant—another minute or so.

3. Add tomatoes and stock, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and chard and simmer for another 5 minutes or until the beans are cooked.

(If using cooked cubed meat such as chicken or turkey, add at this time.) Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.

Serving Suggestions for Rainbow Soup

As the main course this soup is perfect, but be sure that you add other items for adults to eat so that they won't be underfed. A nice starter salad with a vinaigrette dressing is appetizing before the soup. You might also try adding meat to the soup as an option for those who are not vegetarian. Or grill up some chicken, fish, beef or sausage kabobs and place them on separate plates for those who are interested in making the meal a little more hearty. 

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