Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Chunky Tomato Vegetable Soup

The weather has been absolutely miserable here lately. We've been getting snow, rain, freezing rain. The schools were all closed on Monday (due to the ice storm). And power was out in large chunks of the city over the weekend. Like I said: miserable. What with the weather being so miserable and all, I wasn't terribly enthused at the prospect of trying to get out to the grocery store. So, with no groceries and no clear plan, I set about trying to throw something together for dinner.

My natural inclination in a situation like this is soup, so I started with the classic combo of carrot, celery, and onion and went from there.

Chunky Tomato Vegetable Soup (aka Emergency Pantry Soup)


  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 (rather small, sad-looking) yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1 dried arbol chile
  • 1 dried California chile
  • 1 dried Kashmiri chile
  • 1 Indian bay leaf
  • ~1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 540mL tin stewed tomatoes1
  • 156mL tin tomato paste2
  • 6 c. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c. dried chickpeas (or 1 c. cooked)3
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 (or more if you have it) large kale leaves, central rib removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. berbere
  • 1/2 c. brown rice (optional)


  1. Cook onion, celery, and carrot, garlic, and chiles in olive oil over medium heat until vegetables have softened.
  2. Add bay leaf and black pepper and sizzle for another minute or so.
  3. Add stewed tomatoes and break them up a bit.
  4. Add tomato paste, vegetable broth, chickpeas, zucchini, kale, cilantro, and berbere.
  5. Cook on high pressure (InstantPot) for 1 hour.
  6. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  7. If you like a thicker soup, add 1/2 c. uncooked brown rice, close the pot, and cook for an additional 18 minutes at high pressure.
  8. Serve with garlic toast.

1 Mine were tomatoes "with Italian seasonings". Diced tomatoes would also work, but stewed was what I had on hand.Back

2 Mine was tomato paste "with garlic". Back

3 In retrospect, I think I went a little light on the chickpeas. If I made this again, I think I'd add a full cup of dried chickpeas (along with an extra cup or so of water or broth). Back

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