‘Tis the season to be merry…and sip soup! When my hands and cheeks are frozen after being outside there’s nothing like a hot fresh soup with some grilled bread and butter to warm me up and satisfy the soul.
There’s also nothing like the way vegetable soups make you feel! Vegetables are high in antioxidants, eliminating the free radicals in our bodies that cause serious illnesses by damaging cells. The more variety of veggies added to a meal, the better you feel. Carrots are among the vegetables high in antioxidants.
I make this noodle, carrot, and leek soup when I’m feeling like I want to detox my body and perhaps even lose a bit of weight. This soup is not heavy, and has you feeling bouts of energy after you’re done eating. On days where I want to exercise, I try to eat foods that won’t weigh me down and make exercising hard.
Soups, broths, and salads are all good for those types of days. Ever had a meal and just wanted to slump down on your couch for the rest of the day? Yeah, me too! And I hate that feeling. Don’t we all? That’s why even only a few days a week of eating healthy vegetable soups like this one, are a good start to a healthier lifestyle, where you feel good all day.
Aside from the positive way this soup makes you feel and all the health benefits of eating vegetable soups and non processed foods, it’s also a breeze to make. Most of us already have these ingredients in our refrigerator and pantry. And you can substitute certain ingredients for others without really changing the taste.
I used only a handful of ingredients in this recipe because I was craving a very simple and easy, yet flavorful soup. But there’s no reason why you couldn’t add more vegetables. To keep it the same heartiness and consistency, you could trade in half a cup of noodles for more vegetables, and that would make the soup even healthier.
Also, I used rotini pasta for my noodles, but you could use whatever pasta noodles are your favorites. Ditalini pasta is an excellent choice for soups, as that is what’s used in minestrones and pasta e fagioli. Egg noodles are a great alternative too. So basically, whatever type of pasta noodle you currently have in your pantry, you’re welcome to use for this soup.
Since this is a great soup base, all you’d need to do in order for it to become a delicious chicken noodle soup, is add rotisserie chicken. You may also boil chicken in a separate pot, and then shred with a fork and sauté with the vegetables. Yum!
What You Need:
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Leeks- chopped
3 Carrots- chopped
1 Cup Rigatoni Pasta (I used vegetable)
6 Cups water
Salt & black pepper to taste
Begin by preparing your vegetables. Leeks have many inner layers, therefore require thorough washing. Chop off the top leaves from the leeks that are rough. The rough leaves are very dark in color. Slice through the leek and spread open all the leaves, rinse under water thoroughly. Now chop the leeks. Peel and chop chop the carrots.
Heat 2 tbsp butter and 1 tsp olive oil in a soup pot. Add the leeks and carrots and sauté. Season with Vegeta, salt, and black pepper. Vegeta is a lovely seasoning made especially for soups. It’s very hearty and flavorful. You can find Vegeta seasoning at supermarkets, or Euromarkets.
Add the water and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta noodles and stir. I love using various veggie pasta noodles like these spinach and carrot rigatoni noodles. They add more veggie flavor and look beautiful.
Cover and cook for about 8 minutes stirring frequently to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick together or to the bottom of the pot. Finish the soup with 1 tbsp butter for extra creaminess and stir.
From start to finish this soup takes only 30 minutes to make! That makes it a perfect option for a quick lunch, or a dinner side. If you’re trying to keep it extra light, you may omit the noodles altogether and replace with chopped celery and kale. The best part is, on a busy weeknight you likely won’t even need to visit the grocery store.
Since the soup is pretty healthy in and of itself, I feel this allows me to serve toasted garlic or rye bread on the side with spread butter! You may top the soup with a drizzle of creme fraiche, and chopped parsley. Dip the toasted bread into the soup, and it is a flavor combination of my dreams. The perfect meal for a cold winters day!