I'm not a lover of vegetable soup.
That said, I don't NOT like it, it's just not on the top of my list. My husband likes it, and lots of people love it. I was going through my recipes and saw this, I had a flashback of watching people slurp up reheated cans of vegetable soup in lunch rooms at work, and had to share this - it's so much better than a can of soup, and you can package and freeze in in individual servings if you like to take soup to work. This is a revised version of a recipe of a family friend.
1 lb. ground beef or turkey, browned & drained (you can skip the meat, too)
1/2 tsp. EVOO
1/2 c. onion, diced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 c. carrots, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1 bay leaf (remove after cooking)
1 28 oz. can tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
6 c. water (or 3 c. water, 3 c. vegetable broth)
1 c. frozen peas
1 c. frozen corn
1 c. frozen green beans
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped (Italian flat leaf)
1/4 c. rice or barley
Have on hand: 1 c. red potatoes, diced evenly
Brown beef, drain, set aside. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat EVOO. Add onion, and cook about 2 min. until softened. Add herbs and spices, and cook about 1 minute. Add carrots and celery. Add tomato sauce and water or broth, and bay leaf (remember to remove before serving). Add frozen veggies and rice or barley. Bring to a simmer, cook about 1 hour, or until veggies are tender (just underdone if freezing and reheating). Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Freeze.
To serve: Thaw in fridge. Add 1 c. diced potatoes, if desired (I don't like to freeze - they tend to get soft and sometimes have a weird texture). Bring soup to a simmer, and cook until heat through and potatoes are tender.