Spring Chili Soup with Zucchini & Carrot Noodles is the perfect healthy meal to transition from winter to spring.
It’s light yet filling, and full of healthy ingredients.
Zucchini noodles have been an “it” food in health for a while, but I think I like carrot noodles even more! Carrot noodles hold up a little more in soups and have a delightful texture. Turning zucchini and carrots into “noodles” is a breeze with a spiralizer, but if you don’t have one you can still make delicious veggie “noodles” using a julienne peeler.
This soup has a wonderful chili flavor without the heaviness of most traditional chilis. It’s flexible, and it feeds an army. Throw in any extra veggies you want to use up, too. I added in an extra can of rinsed garbanzo beans and some leftover chopped kale plus a spiralized zucchini and a spiralized carrot.
2 small ribs celery with leafy tops, medium chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed, grated or finely chopped
¾ tablespoon ground chipotle pepper powder
⅔ cup fresh corn cut from the cob
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes with the juice, pulsed a few seconds in the food processor or broken up by hand
1 16-ounce can organic kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 quart vegetable stock or organic chicken stock
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
⅛ level teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit for less heat if desired)
¾ tablespoon chili powder, your choice of brand and heat level
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
½ tablespoon organic honey (preferably raw and local)
For the noodles:
1 zucchini, at least 1.5 inches in diameter
1 carrot, at least 1.5 inches in diameter
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add the onions, red bell pepper and celery and sweat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
Add the garlic, chipotle powder, corn, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans and ½ cup water. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (careful not to let the garlic burn).
Add the stock, bring to a boil and let simmer 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, thyme and honey; stir well to combine.
Let soup continue to cook another 10 -15 minutes; check your seasonings and add additional salt & pepper if needed before serving. Reduce the burner to warm if letting the soup sit on the stove for longer than 30 minutes.
Add the spiralized zucchini & carrot noodles to hot soup 10 minutes before serving to allow them to soften and gently cook through. Avoid overcooking the zucchini and carrot noodles to prevent them from falling apart.
Tips for your veggie noodles:
- A spiralizer is a kitchen tool that will turn hard veggies like carrots and zucchini into "noodles," but you don't need one to create this. If you eat a lot of veggie noodles it's worth buying. However, a julienne vegetable peeler can do similar work and costs much less. Use what works best for you. - There's no need to peel your zucchini or carrot, just clean them well, cut off the edges and spiral away. - Cut your noodles about every 3 to 5 inches for easy eating. - I prefer the medium blade on my spiralizer for the zucchini and the smaller (angel hair-like) blade for the carrot.