Chunky Vegetable Soup

My Pappo was a cattle and wheat farmer in Oklahoma. I love me a good (medium, Kona-crusted filet mignon, please!) steak. (And yes, I’m aware of the poor grammar in that sentence. Work with me here.) But sometimes, I just feel like I can’t handle any more meat. When my body tells me “enough is enough,” I go for a couple of meat-free days. After that, I usually feel much better and, on occasion, a bit lighter. Today would be one of those vegetarian kind of days.

I got this oh-so-delicious recipe from Cooking Light. Even my roommate, a self-professed vegetable soup hater, loved this. She said it changed her mind on veggie soup!

I halved the recipe, added a few extra veggies, used chicken broth (I know, I know, not vegetarian) instead of water, and upped the amount of liquid called for because it was really chunky. Even halved, I got five good-sized bowls out of it. This recipe is not recommended for freezing, so you’ll want to take that into consideration. I’ve posted my modified amounts below.

hearty vegetable soup
Chunky Vegetable Soup
adapted from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
4 c. chicken broth (use vegetable broth for a completely vegetarian soup)
2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. fresh-cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 lb. red potatoes, cut into one-inch cubes
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans
1 (14.5-oz.) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
6 oz. frozen lima beans or peas
1/3 c. uncooked orzo
1/2 shredded part-skim mozzarella or Parmesan


1. Heat oil in medium or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, about five minutes.

2. Add broth and next eleven ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer, uncovered, ten minutes more.

3. Add orzo. Cook, uncovered, for ten minutes.

4. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

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  1. Joelen
    February 3, 2009 / 1:46 pm

    This looks delicious and so hearty!

  2. Melissa
    February 3, 2009 / 2:22 pm

    Looks great! I could go for a bowl right now.

  3. Erin
    February 3, 2009 / 5:22 pm

    This looks so yummy! I love vegetable soup.

  4. elly
    February 4, 2009 / 3:56 pm

    This looks so hearty and delicious! Although I don’t know what you mean by enough is enough with regards to meat…lol 😉

  5. Blessed06
    June 11, 2011 / 10:01 pm

    This is one of my favorite soups. Making it right now!

  6. Felicia
    March 27, 2013 / 12:13 am

    I love this soup! I think I've made it four times in the last two months. It's perfect for those days when someone in the family is sick. Thanks so much!

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