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Seriously Simple: A light vegetable soup for chilly spring days

Diane Rossen Worthington, Tribune Content Agency on

Author Cara Mangini certainly knows her way around a vegetable garden. In her latest book, “The Vegetable Eater,” she generously shares recipes that highlight vegetables from salads, stews, sandwiches, casseroles, pies and, of course, this light, satisfying soup.

You’ll find a treasure-trove of advice, how-to tips and techniques in “The Vegetable Eater.” I can’t wait to dig into Eggplant Caponata, Asparagus Sushi Rice Bowl and Orange-Miso Soba Noodle Bowl, to name a few. The photography is vibrant, and the recipes are very clear with tons of extra information. This is the book I would gift to any vegetable lover.

This light, yet comforting vegetable soup is perfect for those chilly spring days that seem to drag on (or pop up out of nowhere). To fully capture the depth and deliciousness of the broth, the author hopes you’ll make your own and calls it “a mindless, hands-off task.”

As a Seriously Simple cook, I’ll choose a good-quality reduced sodium vegetable stock at the market. But no matter how the stock comes together for you, once you have it ready to go and the veggies are prepped, you can make this soup in about the time it takes to boil the pasta. For a heartier soup, replace the orzo with store-bought cheese tortellini. Cook it separately, then add it to the soup just before serving. Let it simmer for a minute until the flavors come together.

Spring Vegetable and Orzo Soup with Parmesan-Miso Broth

Serves 4


6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) vegetable stock (see following recipe) or low-sodium vegetable stock

2 tablespoons red or white miso paste

3-inch Parmesan rind (about 1 ounce) or a small chunk of Parmesan (about ¾ ounce) plus ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan (¾ ounce)

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


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