2 cups chopped onions or thinly sliced leeks (whites only)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
8 cups mixed fresh or frozen vegetables, such as carrots, corn, green beans, lima beans, peas, potatoes, and zucchini (cut larger vegetables into smaller pieces)
1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions or leeks, celery, and Italian seasoning; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Add broth, tomatoes and their juice, tomato paste, and 3 cups water to pot; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.
3. Add vegetables to pot, and return to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Let cool before storing.
Note: Freeze this thick and chunky soup now, and you'll have the makings of quick and nutritious meals for months to come. Place soup in small containers, and then pull out only what you need; there's no need to thaw the soup before reheating.
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