veg soupThis is just another winter day in Iowa. True, it is a winter that seems to never end, but I am tough and it will end – sometime. There is a ton of snow, most of which is falling horizontal. OK, I guess that means it is not falling but travelling elsewhere. Anyway, it is cold, windy, snowy, and I am choosing to stay inside and think food thoughts. Soup comes to mind first, especially when I have new, antique-ish chunky bowls begging to be filled. My pantry is limited as I have put off a trip to the grocery store for too long. Vegetarian soup is on the brain; here goes!  I think this would best be called Pantry Soup, as I totally raided my pantry to make it! This makes a big batch. So eat up, have some tomorrow, share, or freeze for another day!


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup chopped celery

1 large onion, chopped

beans 4 soup1 cup chopped bell peppers

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 14 oz. can pinto beans, or other favorite bean, rinsed

28 oz. crushed tomatoes

1 can tomato soup

8 ounces water

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons baking cocoa (Don’t leave this out!)

1 1/4 cup dry pasta, medium shells

¼ cup dried parsley

1-teaspoon celery salt

1-teaspoon black pepper

1/8 cup dried oregano

1 ½ tablespoon dried basil

3 cups vegetable stock

veg for soup1 14-ounce can Mexicorn with liquid

3 tablespoons butter

*I added a splash, about 1/4 cup, of red wine to my soup right before I served.  This is optional for you, but it is yummy!


Heat the canola oil on medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, peppers, and celery and cook a few minutes until the onion is soft. Next stir in the beans you have rinsed. Add crushed tomatoes,  tomato soup and water. Stir well. Add pasta shells. Once you have added the shells you need to stir very frequently so they do not stick to the pan. All all the other ingredients. Cook over medium heat 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Just prior to serving add the butter and stir until melted and incorporated.

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