This soup was a favorite at the cafe! It features summer's best veggies and is ,filled with tomatoes, carrots, celery, chickpeas, kidney beans, zucchini, summer squash, peas, basil, and brown rice. It is assuredly a meal in a bowl! All you need to add is a crusty slice of bread! Serves 6
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large rib of celery, sliced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 minced cloves of garlic
1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1-15 ounce can ground or crushed tomatoes
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups tomato juice
1 whole bay leaf
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium yellow summer squash, diced
1/4 cup frozen or fresh peas, (optional)
1 teaspoon good balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Heat a stock pot to medium-high. Add oil, onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and cook another minute or 2. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, then add the diced and ground tomatoes, stock, tomato juice, bay leaf and rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add the zucchini and yellow squash, bring back to a boil, then simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
Add the peas (if using), vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper to taste., Cook until everything is heated through. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
This recipe can easily be doubled for a crowd!