Healthy Winter Vegetable Soup

National Soup Month is almost over, but that doesn't mean the cold weather will be leaving. Looking outside I don't think the snow will ever go away. I love soup anytime of the year. This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, <em>Serving You Well Cookbook</em>. This is perfect for everyone, vegetarian or vegan. You will not believe the fabulous flavors. Truly a no guilt, satisfying soup.

Healthy Winter Vegetable Soup
16 cups
1 1/4 cups +1 vegetable serving
100 calories per cup

10 cups water or broth (about 6 13-ounce cans of broth)
3 large potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
nonstick cooking spray
3 cups onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup celery, diced
3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups carrots, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white wine (optional)
15-ounce can white cannelloni beans, rinsed, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach or kale
black pepper to taste

Boil 1/2 of the potato chunks in 2 cups of the water or broth until tender. Drain the potatoes and puree in blender or food processor. Set aside.

Spray a large soup pot with nonstick spray. Saute onions and garlic for 5 or 6 minutes. Don't burn the garlic. Add celery, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, soy sauce, herbs, salt and the remaining 8 cups of water or broth. Mix in the pureed potatoes.

Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours stirring occasionally. Add wine, cannelloni beans, green peas and spinach. Cook 10 minutes more. Add pepper.

COOK'S NOTE: I like replacing the spinach with fresh cabbage sometimes, 3-4 cups chopped and added with the celery, broccoli, etc.