There's something so cozy and satisfying about a hot bowl of vegetable soup. It's as comforting to cook as it is to eat — and you just can't mess it up. It's great for any season, using any vegetables that are in the markets, and any changes simply make it more interesting. I didn't have any pasta sauce in my cupboards for this version, which calls for using pasta sauce for the tomato base, and I wasn't sure which brand from the store would be best for this. So I simply went with a can of diced tomatoes with Italian spices. Granted my version probably isn't as flavorful as the original, but I think it still turned out wonderfully tasty. Adapted from a recipe by Kelly Rossiter.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Hearty Vegetable Soup with Pasta Shells


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup small pasta shells
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add in the onions, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook until they have started to soften.
  2. Add pasta sauce and vegetable stock and bring the pot to a simmer. Continue to simmer another 5 minutes or so, until the vegetables are almost tender. Add pasta shells, and simmer until they are al dente. Give the soup a taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Ladle soup into bowls, and enjoy!

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Jaymi Heimbuch ( @jaymiheimbuch ) focuses on wildlife conservation and animal news from her home base in San Francisco.