There’s nothing better than a bowl of hearty, healthy vegetable soup on a rainy day. And now you can spruce up your go-to veggie soup recipe by adding a delicious pop of Parmesan cheese.
A vegetable soup is the perfect immune booster and a great way to make sure the whole family gets their dose of vegetables. However, a vegetable soup can easily become bland so it is important to use the correct amount of herbs and spices to enhance all the flavours.
One of the best herbs to use to bring flavour to your soup is bay leaves. When the herb is infused with a cooking liquid, a minty-like flavour combined with black pepper develops. Bay leaves add a subtle bitterness to the soup and that is why it is important to remember to remove the leaves from the soup once finished.
Once you’ve read through this recipe you may have noticed something called the Parmesan rind. This is a protective layer that develops on the outside of the cheese wheel as it ages. Even though it is edible, it’s quite tough and hard to chew. And that is why they are the perfect addition to the soup as they are packed full of flavour. The parmesan rind will add a rich and salty flavour and thicken the soup.
- 2 cups chopped onion (1 medium)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups chopped carrot (3 to 4 carrots)
- 1 ½ cups chopped celery (2 to 3 stalks)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 tsp ground fennel seed
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 can diced tomatoes with their liquid (optional)
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups chopped potato (2 medium)
- 3 to 4 cups(heaped) cabbage chopped or shredded
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
- a handful of shredded spinach
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice, optional
- The rind of parmesan cheese
- Grated parmesan
- (Add in any other vegetables you have on hand)
- Heat the oil in a stockpot, or heavy-based saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables have softened and the onions are translucent about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, fennel, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the red pepper flakes. Cook, while stirring, for one minute.
- Pour in the canned tomatoes and their juices as well as the stock.
- Add the potatoes, cabbage, and bay leaves. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Partially cover the pot with a lid, and then reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Now add in the rind of the parmesan cheese.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes, and other vegetables are tender. Add the frozen peas and cook for five more minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and remove the bay leaves and parmesan rind. Stir in the cider vinegar (or lemon juice). Taste and season with more salt, pepper, or vinegar.
- *Serve with grated parmesan cheese
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