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Nana Terri’s Hearty Vegetable Soup

Nana Terri’s Hearty Vegetable Soup

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March weather in our Nutmeg State can be varied. Even as the weather starts to warm up, we can still feel a bite in the air. Soups are a nourishing way to bring warmth while still enjoying the transition into spring, through bountiful soup vegetables. The following easy, nourishing, delicious soup recipe is from my grandmother, Terri. Another wonderful thing about this recipe is its forgiving nature; whatever vegetables you have can go into this soup and help you create a delicious meal for you and the whole family.

The one criterion my grandmother taught me with this soup was to take your time adding ingredients. Be sure to bring the soup up to boil in between adding each ingredient. I have modified the recipe slightly with the spices and the addition of lemon zest and lemon juice for a more robust flavor. The directions are listed clearly below. Enjoy!

• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 1 Tbs olive oil
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 3 carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces
• 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
• 2 celery, chopped into bite-sized pieces
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 2 x 32oz cartons of chicken stock
• 1 x 28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes with juice
• 2 cups of water
• 3 x 10oz bags of frozen vegetables (peas, corn, chopped green beans— if includes carrots, then delete additional chopped carrots from ingredients)
• ½ of 10oz bag of frozen fava beans (Trader Joe’s has delicious frozen fava beans; can use canned/rinsed beans of other variety instead or in addition)
• ½ of 10oz bag of frozen greens (spinach or kale works well)
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 Tbs sea salt
• ½ tsp cracked pepper
• 1 pinch hot pepper flakes
• 1 Tbs dried parsley (can use fresh parsley instead)
• ¼ tsp paprika
• ¼ tsp dried dill
• 1 dried bay leaf (be sure to scoop this out before serving soup)
• Optional: Additional frozen vegetable variety (for example, broccoli)


1. Caramelize onion in olive oil (turn burner to medium/low and cook onion until translucent—do not burn onion).
2. Add ¼ tsp sea salt and mix with onions.
3. Stir onions periodically.
4. Add carrots and parsnips and celery before onion is fully caramelized and continue to cook until onions are done.
5. Add lemon zest and stir.
6. Add cartons of chicken stock and can of crushed/diced tomatoes and water and stir.
7. Bring to boil.
8. Add bags of frozen vegetables, one bag at a time. Bring soup to boil in between each added ingredient. (This is an important step—my grandmother always taught me that this is how you achieve the richest flavors!)
9. Bring to boil.
10. Add frozen fava beans.
11. Bring to boil.
12. Add frozen greens.
13. Bring to boil.
14. Add lemon juice and spices.
15. Bring to boil.
16. Lower to simmer or low boil for 2 hours. (May need to add more water if soup has reduced too much.)
17. Enjoy!

Ayelet Connell-Giammatteo, PhD, PT, IMT,C is the President and Owner of Integrative Wellness and Physical Therapy in Bloomfield, CT, a wellness center specializing in holistic Physical Therapy, Integrative Manual Therapy (IMT), and nutritional wellness. Dr. Connell-Giammatteo is a Physical Therapist and Certified Integrative Manual Therapist. She has been practicing in the field of IMT for over 15 years. Dr. Connell-Giammatteo received her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy from The University of Hartford in Connecticut. She received her Doctoral Degree from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati, Ohio, focusing in neuropediatrics, with a concentration in autism. Some of Dr. Connell-Giammatteo’s Doctoral research involved a unique charter elementary school, Soaring Heights, in inner city Jersey City, New Jersey. During this research, she investigated the efficacy of Integrative Manual Therapy on young children that presented with challenges in learning, socialization, and behavior. In addition to her IMT expertise, Dr. Connell-Giammatteo is a graduate of the Institute of Functional Medicine’s program “Applying Functional Medicine into Clinical Practice” focusing on nutritional wellness. She has written many articles on the subjects of IMT, healthy living, natural parenting, and nutritional wellness. Dr. Connell-Giammatteo was Dean of the Connecticut School of Integrative Manual Therapy (CSIMT) for multiple years. She has taught courses in Integrative Manual Therapy nationally and internationally for over 15 years. Dr. Connell-Giammatteo is also a local of this community and has been living in the Greater Hartford area for many years, where she integrates a healthy lifestyle at home with her wonderful family.