At the Y, where I teach yoga, there’s this strange phenomenon where we are SO FREAKING BUSY right now. Then…..in March….we aren’t so busy. It seems that folks make some life goals around January 1? Maybe you do that?
I’m not a huge fan of resolutions because it seems that they’re built to set us up to fail, somehow. Instead, I’m on the path-of-moderation-always-trying-hard, but I know sometimes at this year it’s really satisfying to take a few extra steps to be really healthy and active, right?
In that spirit, let’s eat soup! It’s FREEZING in some parts of the country right now (I’m in Hawaii, so….sorry!), and a nice soup is so perfect on days like these. The problem, of course, is that sometimes soups that are comforting are also stuffed with meat and cream and served with bread and butter so….maybe not quite as healthy as necessary the first week of January. Just a thought.
This soup, though, is hearty yet SUPER healthy, vegan, and totes easy to make. It’s mainly a regular tomato soup with some extra veg, but the addition of smoked paprika makes it super sexified. It’s easy, too! You just need celery, canned tomatoes, onion, carrot, garlic, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper (optional, leave it out if you don’t like spice), beer, and vegetable stock. You can use chicken stock too if you don’t care about the vegan thing!
First, let’s heat a pan to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil and start on the veggies. I do a chop/add method here so that the hardest veggies (carrots) go first, then cook while I cut up the next veg, and so forth. So, cut the carrots! 2 medium carrots or a handful of baby carrots, which is what I had. Chop them finely.
Add the carrots to the pan – they should start to warm and cook a bit, but not sizzle like crazy. Turn the heat down if you need to!
Stir everything together and SMELL THE PAPRIKA. Yes! Delicious smell. Let the veggies cook with the spices and garlic for 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and NOW. If you’d like to, add a sprinkle of flour right here to thicken the soup just slightly. This is totally optional, and doesn’t make a huge difference – just a tiny bit more viscosity to the soup once it’s done. If you do add the flour, stir it into the veggies for one minute.
- 2 medium carrots or 1 handful baby carrots, finely chopped
- 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium or 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt and crushed red pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons flour, optional
- 12 ounces light beer
- 28 ounces crushed or diced tomatoes
- 1/2-1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- bread, if desired, for serving
- sliced green onion, if desired, for serving
- Heat a soup pot to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the carrots and celery. Stir, and cook for 3 minutes to soften slightly. Add the onion, and cook for 2 minutes more. When the veggies are soft, add the garlic and a sprinkle of salt. Stir, and cook for two more minutes, then add the paprika and as much crushed red pepper if you'd like. Sprinkle the flour over the veggies, and stir together with the seasonings. Add the beer and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir the beer into the veggies and allow to reduce by half, then add the tomatoes and a bit of stock. Cover the soup, reduce the heat to medium, let simmer for 10 - 20 minutes until the veggies are soften.
- Before serving, blend the soup until nearly pureed with a blender or food processor. Taste, and add more salt or crushed red pepper to your taste. If the soup is thick, add more stock a splash at a time to achieve the desired consistency.
- Serve with bread and green onions, or any other way you like. Enjoy!