Quick & Easy Chunky Vegetable Tomato Basil Soup with Cannellini Beans

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This is my go-to healthy, hearty, quick & easy soup — it fits all my requirements: super simple, very little preparation, healthy and full of nutrients, and a delicious, filling meal for my family. A soup like this traditionally has potatoes — however, I substitute in cannellini beans, which is a great source of iron, folate, and protein. The only vegetables that need chopping in this soup are the onion and carrots — the rest of the veggies are frozen, which means that you can make a healthy, filling, totally scrumptious soup in about 45 minutes, with very little washing, peeling, and chopping. I also love this soup because you make it without a blender. This means fewer dishes to clean, which makes this busy Mama very happy!

Another thing that speeds up this dish — Dorot frozen chopped garlic and basil! You can buy them from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, and they make this dish even speedier. You just pop them out, a teaspoon at a time, and they add so much to the soup.

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Chop your onion and carrots and drain and rinse your cannellini beans — that’s all you need to prepare for this healthy and hearty soup!

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Quick and Easy Chunky Vegetable Tomato Basil Soup with Cannellini Beans [ Recipe by Neshikot.com ]

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
4 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 carrots, washed, peeled and chopped into 1/4″ slices
4 cups (32oz) low sodium vegetable broth
1 jar (25 oz) marinara sauce
1 bag mixed veggies with no salt/seasoning added (I use Whole Foods organic green beans, peas, carrots, and corn)
2 teaspoons chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box or can of pre-cooked Cannellini beans
Grated parmesan (optional)

Directions:
Wash, peel and chop carrots and onion.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes. While they are cooking, continue stirring occasionally, and drain and rinse the cannellini beans well.

Add your garlic to the pot and sauté for another 2 minutes. Then, add in the chopped carrots, vegetable broth, tomato sauce, and beans. Simmer for about 20 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the bag of frozen veggies directly into the soup, as well as the basil and salt. Simmer for about 15 more minutes.

Allow soup to cool for a few minutes and serve! Top each bowl with a couple tablespoons of grated parmesan if desired. Or, leave it off for a delicious and hearty vegan soup.

Notes:
I use Dorot frozen garlic and basil cubes for this recipe, which speeds up the cooking process quite a bit for me.

You could add in lots of different vegetables to this dish! However, I think it works best if you make sure to use at least the onions, garlic, chopped carrots, and corn. The corn gives it a great sweet taste and balances out the heartiness of the soup. But, that’s just my personal opinion — if you find a great combination, please let me know in the comments!

I included this recipe in my “Toddler Approved” section because my son LOVES this soup — however, if you are going to serve this to your toddler, please make sure to chop the larger pieces of veggies into smaller pieces. The carrots and green beans especially may need finer chopping for the little ones.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions and Cranberries

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This dish is delicious because of the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes, carrots and cranberries. It’s *almost* like eating dessert for dinner, and it’s filled with so many great nutrients, you don’t have to feel guilty! Between the sweet potatoes and the carrots, it is filled with Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, iron, Vitamin A and many more. It definitely feels like a fall-inspired dish, but I love making it all year round.

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You know this has to be good for you when you see how bright and beautiful your orange veggies are!

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, and Cranberries [ Recipe by Neshikot.com ]

Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes (I find them easier to chop if I look for long, thin sweet potatoes)
4 large carrots
1 onion (medium)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup garlic olive oil (regular olive oil will work as well)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of garlic salt

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash, peel, and chop sweet potatoes, carrots and onion. Chop the sweet potatoes into slices roughly 2″ x 1″, and try to make them all roughly the same size. Chop the carrots into pieces roughly 1″ x 1″, again aiming to make each piece roughly the same size. Chop the onion into large slices, about 2″ x 1″. Place them all in a large bowl, and pour in the dried cranberries.

In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic powder, lemon juice and garlic salt. Pour mixture over potatoes, carrots, onions, and cranberries. Mix well to ensure all of the veggies are coated.

Lightly oil a 13×9″ baking dish and pour everything into the dish. Cover with tin foil, and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove foil from dish and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes and carrots are cooked and beginning to look golden, checking regularly to make sure they aren’t burning.

Inspired by:
How Stuff Works and In Sonnet’s Kitchen

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Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries

Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
I feel like one of the only people on earth who doesn’t like fries. Everyone seems to love fries and ketchup, but they have truly never appealed to me. Until now! I had never heard of carrot fries, until I passed by a giant bag of delicious, bright orange organic carrots at the grocery, and had so many extra that I had to find something to do with them! I couldn’t be happier that carrot fries are now part of the regular rotation in our house! They are sweet and salty all at the same time. They are nutritious, and make the whole house smell amazing as they bake! Even my toddler loves them, which is a huge bonus for me.

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Chopping the carrots into 4″ sticks.Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Lining the carrots on a cookie sheet, ready to go in the oven.
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Ready to eat!
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Baked Carrot Fries [ Recipe by Neshikot.com ]

Ingredients:
6 carrots (medium to large)
2 teaspoons garlic olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash and peel carrots. Chop them in half lengthwise, and then into 4″ sticks (I got roughly 8-12 sticks out of each carrot), making sure they are roughly the same size. Place carrots into a bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic powder, and garlic salt.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and place carrot sticks on the paper, making sure there is no overlap. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove from oven. Flip each carrot over (be careful, they will be hot). Rotate cookie sheet, so they carrots that were originally baking in the front are now baking in the back. Bake for another 15 minutes, checking every few minutes to make sure they are not burning.

Sprinkle fries with grated parmesan as soon as they are removed from the oven. Or, don’t use the parmesan, and these make a delicious vegan snack!

Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries
Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries