Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Move Over Panera! Homemade Pesto Vegetable Soup is Here!

Wow, it has taken me forever to get this post up! It just got pushed back along the queue and I forgot about it...oops. This is the perfect example of the kind of stuff that Amanda has to deal with my memory being terrible and it drives her crazy!

It doesn't bother me in the slightest that 95% of the time I'm forgetting something but I can't believe it literally took me almost two weeks to get this post up. I'm also behind on emails which I'm going to do my best to get to those tonight! Grad school applications are taking up a lot more of my time than I anticipated, yikeeees.

Anyway, fall soups are my specialty and I love, love, love using the crock pot to make them! It's easy, simple, and very hands off. I just throw all the soup ingredients into the crock pot and leave it sit for a few hours. I swear something magical happens in the crock pot because the taste is always so much better than if I were to make it in a giant pot on the stove.

I decided to make my own version of pesto vegetable soup. I wouldn't call it a copy-cat because I didn't model it to taste exactly like the one you would find at Panera. I wanted to make my own homemade version and not to boast or anything, but I prefer this batch to Panera's :)

For the soup you'll need:
3 small-medium yellow squash
3 small-medium zucchini
1 15oz can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 bag of baby spinach
2 32oz containers of vegetable stock
4 medium sweet potatoes
8 large carrots
1/4 cup pesto

The spices I used I did to taste but they included: salt, black pepper, roasted garlic herb mix, dried basil, dried parsley, and fresh garlic.

I used all organic ingredients but that's not necessary at all. 

Also, can we talk about how cool these carrots are?! I got this bag from Trader Joe's because yes there were purple carrots and that's all I cared about. They're naturally tri-colored so there were orange, purple, and yellow/white ones. I wanted the soup to be nice and colorful so I picked out the pretty carrots!

Put everything in the crock pot, minus the spinach and pesto, and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 depending on when you put it in. I didn't start making it until after lunch so I cooked it on high to make it go faster. 

I added the spinach about an hour before the soup was supposed to be done. I didn't want it to get too cooked down in the soup. I also added the pesto at this time and checked again for the spices and probably added in some extra again as well. 

I'm terrible with keeping track of measuring out spices since I just do it all to taste. I checked on the soup about every hour to see how it was cooking, and probably added in spices as I went when I thought they were necessary. 

Ok, so I have this cheesy joke that I have to share but it cracks me up every time. Whenever I go to open the arugula (which is like every night at dinner) I say to my mom and sister "Watch out, guys, you better stand back because the arugula is a little wild tonight" ahahaha I crack myself up! I told you it was cheesy, and Amanda just rolls her eyes at me as I giggle every single time at my own joke. 

I ate my soup with a grilled chicken hummus wrap, and it was the perfect combination! 

Oh, I almost forgot! The macros--
Per cup (makes 18):
88 calories
14g carbs
2g fat
3g protein

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