Vegetable Soup & Sandwich

I love having soup and a sandwich for lunch in the winter. It's hearty and comforting and warms my insides. I especially love grilled vegetables on a sandwich and I particularly love vegetable soup.

Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]:
1 aubergine or eggplant
1 corn cob
3 or 4 kale leaves
1 potato
1 bell pepper
1 zucchini
1 carrot or handful of baby carrots
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
2 cans of vegetable broth (each can is 16 oz)
1 can of diced tomatoes (16 oz)
1 small can of lima beans (8 oz)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
5 or 6 basil leaves
lots of olive oil
1/4 cup of pasta (something small that works well in soup)

+ 1 loaf of french bread
+ 4 tablespoons of goat cheese
+ 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
+ 3 or 4 basil leaves
+ 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

I started by chopping up the bell pepper, zucchini, and aubergine into big pieces that would be easy to grill. Then I doused them with plenty of olive oil before getting them onto a hot grill pan.
I grilled the peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and corn until nice grill marks were formed.
Then I chopped the garlic roughly (for a rustic soup feel), chopped the potato into bite-sized pieces, cut the baby carrots into thirds, and then cut the corn kernels off of the cob.
Then I added about a teaspoon of olive oil in my soup pot and added the garlic. Once it started to sizzle, I added in both cans of vegetable stock and the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, and oregano.
While I waited for the pot to boil, I chopped up about half the grilled vegetables (saved half for the sandwiches), cut up the kale, drained the tomatoes, and drained and rinsed the lima beans.
I used Ditalini as my pasta - which is a simple cylindrical pasta - usually found in Minestrone soup.
1) I added in the water and potatoes to the soup pot and let it come to a boil and then cook for 5 minutes.
2) I added the tomatoes and carrots and let it simmer for two minutes.
3) I added the chopped up zucchini, bell pepper, and aubergine and let it simmer for two minutes.
4) I added the pasta and let it simmer for 5 minutes or so.
5) I tasted the soup to check the seasoning and added a bit of salt to taste.
6) I added in the kale.
7) Once the kale was wilted, I gave it another taste to see if it needed more seasoning.
8) Right before serving, I ripped up the basil by hand and added it to the soup.
To make the sandwiches, I took the zucchini, pepper, and aubergine that I'd set aside, chopped it all up into bite sized pieces, and tossed it with balsamic vinegar, black pepper, and torn basil.
Next, I cut up the French bread into sandwich-sized pieces, split it half, toasted it on the grill for a few seconds, and then spread on the goat cheese.
Then I put the vegetables on the sandwich. The salty goat cheese goes so well with the sweet basil and marinated vegetables.
Serve with the soup, piping hot.


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