Vegetable Soup

There is something to vegetable soup. Some nights, served with a little bolio roll and a bit of salad, only a steaming bowl of the stuff will do. Nourishing and healthful, little carrots float about like coral studs in the acidic, tomato-laced broth. The addition of garlic and herbs give the soup a bite, reminiscent of the veggie soup at the “cafeteria” Montessori I attended as a kid. I put cafeteria in quotes because, it did not resemble or taste like any other school food establishment. In it, Marcia, the 6 ft tall lady chef, turned out fresh cornbread with honey butter, death-by-chocolate cookies dusted with powdered sugar, fresh salads, lasagna and, of course, the aforementioned vegetable soup.

It was in this large kitchen, full of steel objects, that I had my first formal cooking lessons. An after school class I signed up for, myself and five other third graders became intimate with dear Marcia, the Oz behind the curtain of our school nourishment. We danced around the kitchen, parading our pasta and salads with pride-- careful to assemble a little paper plate of our goodies for Mom and Dad.

Vegetable Soup
1 (16 oz.) can plum tomatoes, with Italian seasoning
1 heaping tblsp tomato paste
3 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 small zucchinis, sliced into rounds
1 leak, the white part – fading to green only, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 handfuls of lentils
1/4 c olive oil
4 cups water, or more depending on consistency
1 heaping tsp of the following:
dried basil
dried tarragon
dried oregano
dried chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste

To make:
Place leeks and olive oil into medium pot and cook until leeks are sort of clear and reduced in size. Put all other ingredients in and stir to combine. Heat until boiling, then put a lid on the pot, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Checking in the last hour for doneness on the lentils. Serve with fresh basil, or other herbs if you have them and a nice piece of bread.


  1. I'm with you on veggie soup and french bread...I had it for lunch today. Next time, I will hope to have your recipe at hand to make it fresh!

  2. I almost don't care what your recipes taste like... the visuals and the descriptions are SO rich! Can't wait to try this one!