When I first changed to a plant based diet, I often found myself lost and not knowing what to eat. Not only was I new to choosing whole foods but I was also discovering vegan eating. Like most newbies, I started my transition to vegan-ism relying on convenience foods. One of my favorites was the old school Dr. McDougall’s soups. These add water cups were a quick and easy meal for me. The list of ingredients were all things I could pronounce, so I was stoked.
As I gained more knowledge, I learned about nutrition and deciphering food labels. You quickly learn that what sounds healthy is in fact a refined sugar or yeast extract. It was out of this frustration and full commitment to my health that I learned my way around the kitchen. I began experimenting and found out that I enjoy recreating dishes that I love using the best and cleanest ingredients possible. Cooking my own food made me eat less of the pre-packaged “healthy” foods.
Here is my copycat Dr. McDougall’s Tomato Basil Pasta Soup. I loved how this soup was more of a tomato broth with some noodles, spices, and just a few beans. In my version, I use whole grain, gluten free noodles, fresh tomatoes, carrots, and herbs. The broth with kombu, to let me soak in some of the sea vegetable’s goodness.
I ate two bowls of this soup and was proud of how much it reminded me of the real thing. Does anyone else love the McDougall’s? I hope you enjoy.
- 4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 shallot or small onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- ½ can of kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 kombu strip
- 1 TBS oregano
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- 1 handful of fresh basil
- 1 TBS Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz rotini pasta (I used brown rice pasta, but whole wheat would work)
- Chop all the veggies.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes and red bell pepper. Pulse until you have a thin salsa consistency.
- Heat saucepan on medium heat.
- Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil.
- Add shallots, cook until soft.
- Next combine the shredded carrots and garlic with the shallots.
- Spoon in the tomato-pepper mix.
- Stir in the veggie broth, water, and beans.
- Add herbs, bay leaf, kombu strip and combine.
- Cook for 1 hour on med-low heat. Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare gluten free pasta according to package instructions.
- When cooked, rinse noodles and mix into the soup.
- Serve topped with fresh basil.