From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of June 10, 2013
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

Summer Veggie Soup

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

Whether they are from your garden, the farmers’ market, or the produce section of your grocer, nothing captures the smell and look of summer like fresh vegetables. This is especially true if you simmer vegetables together, allowing their aromas to be released and the different flavors to mingle.

In this summer soup, onion and garlic provide the underlying flavor. The medley of carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes and corn provides appetizing rich colors. They compose an earthy blend of flavors and cancer protective nutritional value – low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with potassium, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Once the chickpeas are in the mix, they add subtle nutty taste. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are rich in fiber and a good source of protein.

The basil and chives garnish imparts a pleasant Mediterranean quality to the dish. In fact, chives enhance everything from vegetables and baked potatoes to salads and soups. You might want to consider growing them in a container on a sunny windowsill – bring summer to your culinary space year round. It’s easy to do.

Simply select a chive plant from a garden or garden store. Remove a clump with the roots about the size of your fist. Use a 6 to 8 inch pot. Put an inch or two of gravel in the bottom. Then fill the pot a little over half full with a good potting soil. Next, hold the chive clump in place and finish filling the pot with potting soil, covering the roots. Gently pat the soil. Cut about a quarter off the top of the plant to stimulate new growth. Chives need good light so set them in a sunny window. Don’t overwater, but sprinkle to moisten them uniformly. Harvest chives sparingly for the first 8 months or so by removing only about half of the new growth from the plant. You also could grow chives from seeds, but replanting is the easiest method. With proper care, chives will fill out and provide a bounty for enhancing many of the dishes you prepare, especially Summer Veggie Soup.

Summer Veggie Soup

Summer Veggie Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth may be substituted)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 medium yellow squash, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 plum or Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh chives, coarsely chopped

In soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté about 6-8 minutes. Add carrots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in broth, chickpeas, squash, zucchini, potatoes, corn, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in asparagus and cook 2 minutes or until squash and potatoes are tender, but not mushy. Then stir in tomatoes and cook 2 minutes.

Place in bowls, garnish with basil and chives and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 210 calories, 3.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 38 g carbohydrate,
9 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 340 mg sodium.

Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $105 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, at

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