Make this vegetable chowder on the stovetop or in a slow cooker; either way, it is healthy, tasty and satisfying.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small zucchini, cubed
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons fresh minced thyme
Salt, to taste
Grinding coarse black pepper
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup canned kidney beans, rinsed well and drained, or 1 cup cooked orzo or rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese for sprinkling
1. Pour the olive oil into a medium-size soup pot along with the onion, celery, zucchini and butternut squash. Cook covered over medium heat until the vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.
2. Sprinkle with the celery salt, celery seed, oregano, paprika, chili powder, thyme, salt and black pepper. Stir in the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms soften. Pour in the tomatoes and vegetable broth. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
3. Add the beans, orzo or rice. Stir well.
4. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with cheese.