Hearty Vegetable Soup

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Summer is an Internet Season.

Like any Australian, I really enjoy the summer. Summer on this side of the Earth means sunshine, beaches, tans, minimal clothes and an explosion of instagram photos, right? We long for the joys of the warm season mostly during the cold season, when everyone is sulking in their many layers of thermal clothes. I love snapping photos of any beach-related adventures I get up to just as much as the next person.

Though as previous years have proven, what we all seem to forget about the Australian summer is the bloody stinking hot, burning heat that melts your face off everyday for 3 months. Summer looks better through photos on social media, where everyone is half naked and sprawled on some glittering sand mound with a cocktail in hand. I can assure you most of my summer isn’t actually spent like that (but when it is, I instagram like crazy!), usually I’m whinging and complaining as the sun radiates off my sweaty forehead. There’s a nice mental picture for you.

As the weather slowly but surely heats up, I am desperately trying to grasp on to winter as much as possible by making hearty cold weather foods.

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Hearty Vegetable Soup
Serves 6

1L water
1L vegetable stock
2x 400g can diced tomatoes
1 400g can lentils, drained and rinsed
1 400g can 4 bean mix, drained and rinsed
1 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
4-5 stalks of celery, sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1/4 cabbage, roughly shredded
1/2 capsicum, diced
1/2 broccoli, broken into small florets
1/2 cauliflower, broken into small florets
Sugar to taste (optional)
Cracked black pepper to taste

In a large pot thrown in the garlic, onion, lentils, water and chicken stock and heat to a boil. When liquid is boiling add capsicum, cabbage, celery, plus your cans of 4 bean mix and butter beans. Allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes before adding final ingredients: zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, cans of diced tomatoes and some black pepper to suit your taste and allow the soup to simmer for a further half hour, stirring at regular intervals. You may find you need to add about a teaspoon of sugar to offset the acidity of the tomatoes – just go by taste.

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The great thing about this soup is that you can use the vegetables you have left in your fridge; you don’t have to go exactly by this recipe. Some great vegetables to substitute in are:

Leek
Corn
Potato
Mushroom
Spinach
Squash
Pumpkin
Sweet Potato
Carrot
Corn

Literally, anything you have. Enjoy!

(I’m instagramming a picture of this soup right now…)

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