rainbow soup

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

 i do realize you may completely think differently of me as i admit this, but
i am your fat friend. 

you know, the one you need to turn to in times of cookie dough, undercooked brownies and pints of ice cream. the one who wont judge you for savoring the cheese paper (melted cheese from a burger that gets stuck into it's wrappings) or licking the salt from your fingers after each french fry. the one who will so graciously deny splitting a milk shake with you because she wants her own. the friend you call when you crave pizza and want to feel comfortable eating it without dabbing the grease off of each piece with a napkin.  

that's me.

now that i've gotten that out of the way, i hope you're still here. 

i love food. 

food is my life (sung loudly in a louis armstrong-style voice). 

and as much as i love rich goodness, (eh hem, displayed in the posts below) i love healthy stuff too. 

what?! your fat friend is also your healthy friend. 

it's totally possible. 

i am all about balance. a cookie in each hand and veggies on the table. 

this dish is all about the veggies.
veggies presumedly get shoved off to the side of your plate and are usually avoided and overcooked. 

here they are none of those things.  

in fact, here, they are the star of the show.

the rainbow show.

i call this soup rainbow soup because it has every veggie color available to mankind in it. if you can find them, use colorful heirloom fingerling potatoes, they're the real star here. and if you squeal with delight as you start cutting the purple and pink ones and notice purple juice on your knife, don't worry. that's totally normal.
purple juice in potato form is hard to come by, i know. 

i love this soup so much i served it as the main dish to a little dinner party i threw for a handful of my best friends. 

 not that you need any more persuading than that, but it also converted my husband into a "soup person". 

am i the only one who's noticed boys aren't the biggest fans of soup? 

well, i have fed this soup to a few boys in my time and they've all given it a thumbs up.

or they were just being nice to me. 


either way this soup is grand. it makes a large pot, so i always get several meals out of it. if you don't want to eat rainbow soup all week, feel free to freeze some of it as it freezes quite well. 

i usually serve this with fresh bread that i pop in the oven from trader joes, you know, that par-baked stuff is magical, or i get a french loaf, slice it and lightly fry the slices in a generous amount of olive oil.

and voila! there is the fat friend in me again.

fried olive oil toasts with an all vegetable soup. 

it is fantastic combination and it's actually making my mouth water right now... so if you'll excuse me.
i have some left over soup to re-heat. 

happy eating. 

Rainbow Soup 

inspired from seriously simple,  by diane rossen worthington 

serves: 8-12 , prep time: 20 minutes. overall cooking + prep time: 45 minutes 

 this soup is fantastic served with fresh parmesan cheese, a confetti sprinkling of chopped spinach and a dollop of pesto (not pictured). the pesto and parmesan made an aperance at my aforementioned dinner party, but it can make an appearance on any non-dinner party night too.

 and please, don't forget the bread. 

notes: if you're a tomato fein like me, you can throw some fresh cherry tomatoes in at the last minute before serving too. the heat of the soup will warm them slightly and give a fresh burst of flavor. this of course, is entirely optional and only recommended for tomato lovers. 

more notes: if you can't find colorful potatoes, regular yellow fingerlings, or baby dutch potatoes work really nicely as well. 

 the amounts of ingredients are very forgiving. this is very much a "throw it in the pot" kind of meal. if you have a little more or a little less of something, do not stress. you really can do no wrong. i can't tell you how many times i've made this soup without measuring at all. the order of everything is the real trick here. 


3 Tablespoons of olive oil
6 leeks, chopped, fuzzy and tough, stalky outside parts removed 
4 cloves of garlic, minced 
6 zucchini, cut into little 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 lb (give or take) colorful heirloom fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices or cubes, or both!  *these are boiled separately
2 - 15oz cans of cannelli beans (white beans)
2 - 15oz cans of diced chopped tomatoes 
6 cups chicken or veggie broth (i always use chicken)
6 carrots, peeled + chopped (baby carrots work fabulous here as well if you want to skip the peeling part) about 2 1/2 cups 
2 teaspoons of salt (or a little more or a little less depending on how salty your broth is) 
freshly cracked back pepper to taste 

for garnish: 
graded parmesan 
1/2 cup chopped spinach
pesto (i buy mine from trader joes)

Grab two pots, one medium sized and one large. 

In the medium sized pot, add all of the chopped potatoes and fill with water. Add a generous amount of salt (2 Tablespoons) and bring water to a boil. Boil potatoes until they are tender and fork soft, about 10-15 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

In the meantime, while the potatoes are boiling, grab your large pot.

In this large pot, heat up the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and then add the chopped leeks. Saute for 5-8 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Immediately after the garlic, add all the chopped carrots and zucchini. Saute for 8-10 minutes.

Rinse and drain beans.

Add beans to leek, garlic, carrot and zucchini mixture.

Add the cans of diced tomatoes, juices and all.

Add all of your cooked potatoes.

Add chicken broth and let it simmer for 15 - 20 minutes to let the flavors merry. Taste and add salt accordingly.

Top with shredded parmesan, pesto and chopped spinach with a side of olive oil toasts. Feel free to dunk your toasts in the broth as you would an oreo in milk.

olive oil toasts: 

*Watch carefully as they can burn easily*

Heat a saute pan with 3-5 tablespoons of oil and place 1 inche slices of french bread in the oil. Sprinkle with salt. Heat sides until crisp, about 1-2 minutes depending on how hot your oil is. The bread should be golden within a few minutes, then flip each slice with tongs to crisp the other side. When both sides have soaked up the olive oil and are crisp, they're ready to serve immediately.  Think of them as really big homemade croutons.   


  1. This looks yummy, and you are too funny! :)

  2. I made a batch of this a couple months ago and froze half of it. Just unthawed it yesterday and it is still delicious!


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