I had invited friends over for brunch.  He was a vegetarian.  She doesn’t eat any grains.  And my family is dairy, egg, and (some) nut-free.  What could I serve?  I decided on a big pot of homemade vegetable soup, supplemented by some yummy sourdough bread (for most of us) available at a local bakery.  Here’s what a threw together for the soup…easy, basic, delicious, and nutritious!


1 yellow onion, chopped

1 package of portabello mushrooms, chopped

Olive oil (enough to saute vegetables, about 1 -2 tbsps)

Sea salt to taste

Three carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

Three stalks of celery, sliced thinly

1 can of diced tomatoes (no salt added)

1 can of chickpeas, drained

1 small box of white cannelloni beans, drained

3 sprigs of fresh thyme (use dried if fresh not available)

5 branches of fresh oregano (use dried if fresh not available)

A drop of maple syrup


Saute onions in olive oil until soft.  Add mushrooms, carrots, and celery, and saute for three minutes.  Add rest of ingredients.  Fill up pot with water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to simmer.  Cook for 2 to 3 hours, until vegetables, chickpeas, and beans are tender.  Add more sea salt if necessary.  Serve piping hot, with your favorite bread (or not, if you don’t eat grains!).


For a slight variation on the same theme, make the following changes to the above ingredients:  delete the cannelloni beans, thyme, fresh oregano, and maple syrup.  Add another can of diced tomatoes, about 1 cup of frozen peas, about 6 fresh sage leaves (chopped up), about 1/8  cup of dried oregano, and about an 1/8 cup of dried basil, and some fresh ground pepper to taste.  Also, add one parsnip, chopped.  This soup yielded a delectable tastebud pleasing soup that was naturally sweet without any sugar (or maple syrup) added.  Blame it on the parsnip?  And who knew that sage can add such a savory flavor to a pot of vegetable soup.  Thyme to give another herb centerstage, I guess (Ha!).