After four days in Asheville, North Carolina – specifically four days of beer, brunch, and an abundance of pimento cheese –my body needed vegetables.
Our gardening attempts managed to survive the absence of our watering pails. Lavish fresh parsley and oregano expand out over their herb box homes. The brightest surprise, Thai Basil bursts forth with purple blossoms and healthy flat leaves.
A trip to the grocery store sent me home with zucchini, yellow hericot vert (fancy beans), and the fairly polarizing pod known as Okra. From these spoils, as well as a decent backyard harvest, I threw together this savory soup to fuel my overindulged body.
1 Bell Pepper (or 4-5 Baby Bell Peppers), Diced
½ Large Yellow Onion, Diced
3 Cloved Garlic, Minced
1 Can (28 oz.) Crushed Tomatoes
1 Carton (32 oz.) Vegetable Stock
2 Cups Sliced Okra
1 Bunch Hericot Vert
1 Giant Zucchini, Diced
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Package Fresh Express Baby Kale Mix
Fresh Parsley, Fresh Oregano, Fresh Basil, Chopped
1-3 Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper
*Okra Tip: After slicing, I rinsed it several times in cool water to remove some of the slime that occurs.
Sautee the onions and peppers til browned
Toss in the garlic and stir for a minute
Pour in crushed tomatoes, followed by veggie stock
Season with 2 Tsp. Salt, 1 Tsp. Pepper, and desired amount of red pepper flakes
Stir in herbs
Add sliced okra and bring to a boil
Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 1 hour
Taste for salt and pepper and add more as needed
Prepare the rest of the veggies
At 5 minute intervals (and this does not have to be exact) add the rest of the veggies in stages
Peas -> Zucchini -> Hericot Vert -> Baby Kale
Top with fresh basil and perhaps a bit more red pepper flakes
I ate this as a hearty bowl of soup, but it would also work beautifully ladled over a bed of fluffy quinoa or buttery rice. I also held the cheese on this one to fully access that cleansing component but feel free to have a #havartiparty or cheese of choice addition!
A hefty leftover supply awaits me in the refrigerator to dip into again. I’m excited to taste how the flavors have continued to mingle overnight!