All-You-Can-Eat Vegetable Soup

1/2 lb. carrots, sliced (1 lb.)
1 1/2 onions, chopped (3 medium)
2 stalks celery, sliced (4)
1 large garlic clove, minced (2)
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes (2)
4 oz. cabbage, thinly sliced (I used coleslaw mix) (8 oz.)
Scant 1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and each cut into thirds (3/4 lb.)
1 (24-oz.) carton reduced-sodium chicken broth (2)*
3 cups water (6)*
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 small zucchini, sliced into half-moons (3 medium)
1 (6 oz.) bag baby spinach, roughly chopped (2)

Coat a large stock pot with nonstick spray and add carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes and their liquid, cabbage, green beans, broth, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and spinach and continue to simmer another 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Season to taste.

*You can use all chicken broth instead of part broth, part water.

The following variations turn the basic recipe into a full meal soup.

Mexican Chicken Soup variation:

To two cups of the original recipe, add:
3 oz. chicken, cut into 1/2 ” cubes
1/3 cup corn (I use frozen)
1/4 t. cumin
1 T. chopped cilantro
Lime wedges (squeeze onto the soup when you serve it)

Minestrone Soup variation:

To two cups of the original recipe, add:
1/2 cup white beans
1/2 cup cooked small pasta
2 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 T. chopped fresh basil