It’s cold, so soup is always a great go-to for comfort.  The fact that vegetable and broth based soups can be hearty and healthy (and not too heavy on calories) are certainly added bonuses.  Darren and I have been having this soup all week – I think we’ll finish it tomorrow – and it just keeps getting better as it rests.

The goods:

1 large can crushed tomatoes

2 quarts vegetable stock (I use organic)

1 small head savoy cabbage, thinly sliced

1 large onion, diced

celery stalks, diced (I think about 1 cup)

carrot (peeled if you’re using whole carrots; I had peeled baby carrots), about 1 cup

minced garlic (a couple tablespoons)

1 pound (or thereabouts) bag frozen cut green beans

8 oz package sliced mushrooms

2 bay leaves

salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, sage, parsley (and whatever else you like)

extra virgin olive oil

The method:

– Get yourself a big old stockpot (you’ll need capacity for at least 2-3 gallons) and get that heating up with some oil in the bottom (4 to 5 swirls around the pan)

– Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic.  Saute for a few minutes until onions are translucent.

– Add can of tomatoes.  Saute for another few minutes.

– Add the green beans and mushrooms.

– Throw in vegetable stock and bring to boil.

– Add cabbage. Return to boil.

– Reduce to a simmer, add bay leaves and several generous pinches of salt, pepper and other spices.

– Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  An hour is even better.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.  Add some water if it looks like you’re evaporating too much.

– Serve up some, chill and store the rest.  I swear, this is better the second and third days.

(This makes… um… a LOT.  Plan to share this soup or you WILL have way too much.)

Goes great with a grilled cheese sandwich, even better with nice buttery garlic bread.