Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup

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Well, I received my CSA shipment from Farm Fresh To You (farmfreshtoyou.com) a few days ago, and I’d customized my box to include some fresh dill.  I love fresh dill.  It reminds me of the cabbage borscht my grandfather used to make when I was growing up; there was always lots of dill in his soups, and they were always so savory and delicious.

I also added rainbow carrots, zucchini, spring onions, chard, and sweet potato to my  delivery.  As I customized my box, I had in mind to make a really hearty soup that reminded me of the old days (minus the beef).  If you flavor your dishes, whatever they may be, I doubt you’ll miss beef or chicken.  But, if you want to include those, you can still use this basic recipe, and add the meat of your choice.

So, I’ll just describe how I made this, because I rarely write a recipe down, and it’s often trial and error, tasting as I go to adjust the flavor to my liking.

I prepped 4 sweet potatoes by scrubbing and chopping in equal-sized small pieces (not peeling, because a lot of the nutritional value is in the skin); 2 rainbow carrots, unpeeled, scrubbed and chopped; 1 large chopped zucchini; 4 spring onions, chopped (including stem); small bunch of chard, washed well, stem removed, then finely chopped and reserving about half cup for serving bowl; about 6-7 stems of fresh dill, washed and just torn, including stems; about 2 cups of previously fresh-frozen Brussels sprouts leaves; 1 16-oz can each of black beans and cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained; 1 container of Pomi chopped tomatoes; about 2 cups of V8 juice; about 64 oz. filtered water; vegetized sea salt to taste; pepper to taste; about 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar; a few bay leaves; about 1 tbsp dried basil; about a tsp. each of freshly grated turmeric and ginger; bee pollen to sprinkle over each serving, some extra spring onion bulb chopped for garnish, as well as the extra chopped chard.

Once all the vegetables were prepped, I heated the stockpot with EVOO on medium.  I added the sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, spring onions, chard, dill, Brussels sprouts leaves, bay leaves, basil, turmeric, and ginger.  I stirred it all well and let it cook down for about 20 minutes. Then, I added the Pomi crushed tomatoes, V8, rinsed beans, water, salt and pepper, and apple cider vinegar.  I let it all cook on a simmer with a tilted lid until the vegetables were tender, and the flavor was robust, probably about 40 minutes.  I like to cook soups slowly, so all the flavors marry.  Add more water, salt and pepper to your taste before you serve.

I added the extra chard to the serving bowls, and I topped each bowl with some spring onion (from the bulb), and then sprinkled some bee pollen on each one.