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Hearty, No-Rules Vegetable Soup

This thick, delicious soup is filling enough to be the centerpiece of a meal - just add crusty French bread and a salad. The ingredients are very loose - you add your favorite vegetables and extras.

Vegetable cooking spray
1 small onion, chopped
4 c. (or one 1-qt. box) vegetable broth - choose lowest sodium content possible
1 28-oz. can of whole tomatoes, liquid included
1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed
3 cloves of garlic, minced (or more, if you like garlic)
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
Any other spices you happen to favor (I toss in some chili powder)
Pepper to taste (you will not need salt if using commercial broth)
1 bunch broccoli florets (or 1-2 cups of your favorite vegetables - carrots, zucchini, etc.)
1 small-to-medium red or white potato, cooked and diced
1/4 c. orzo pasta (or any similarly small shape)
1/4 head of cabbage, sliced or shredded into strips
Dash of hot sauce (or more to taste)
Shredded, low-fat cheddar cheese (optional)

Use Dutch oven or other very large pot. Sauté onion in vegetable spray over medium heat (microwaving onion for a couple of minutes before sautéing will help soften it). Add vegetable broth. Add tomatoes and their liquid, breaking them up either with a spoon or your hands (if you don't mind getting a little messy). Add garlic and spices except for hot sauce, stir. Add kidney beans, vegetables and potato, turn heat to medium-high. When soup begins to boil, add pasta and cabbage and turn heat down to simmer. Add hot sauce to taste. Cook until pasta is done and onion and cabbage are tender. Sprinkle cheese over each serving.

10-12 generous servings, and it tastes even better the next day. An All Spirit Fitness exclusive!

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