Deja Vu Soup? Not So Much

 I seriously feel like I am making the same soups over and over and over again, because they all have the same ingredients.  Onion.  Garlic.  Potatoes.  Tomatoes.  Carrots.  Broth.  And those things seem to go in every soup that I have ever made.  I felt like that when I was chucking ingredients in the pot last night, and got the feeling "here we go again".  But actually, this soup did turn out quite different, and that was due to the tomato sauce.  It's really funny that something as simple as that would change the whole soup, but it did make it quite different from any other soup that I have made recently.  And I have made a LOT of soup in the past few months.  I find that when I'm not in school that I eat two bowls a day, of the same kind.  Which, in most cases, I really don't mind one little bit.  So here's the very tomatoy soup that makes a huge batch.  And it's already half gone in a day and a half, because M and I have already eaten two bowls a piece.  Cause it's just that good.

TOH Veggie Tomato Soup

Serves 8

Adapted from Taste of Home

1 ½ cups whole wheat penne pasta
3 monster-sized carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 bay leaves
3 yukon gold potatoes, cubed
28 oz can tomato puree
3 cups water plus “beef” bullion
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup cooking sherry
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb vegetarian beef, chopped (opt’l)
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta until just under tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat, and sauté the carrots and onions in a bit of water for 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 5 more minutes. Add the water through chili powder, and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add the remaining ingredients and pasta, and cook until heated through. Serve (don't forget to take out the bay leaves).

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