We just got back from the most amazing trip to Croatia and can’t wait to  share the details with you soon (in what will be our first travel guide post!). If you follow us on social, you may have noticed that we did a lot of eating out at restaurants on the trip but also did a bit of cooking too. It was so nice to mix it up and save a little money by cooking, plus we find it relaxing to take a break at “home” during travel since navigating around can become exhausting after a few nights.

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We love staying in Airbnbs instead of hotels as it gives us the option to cook, and they are usually stocked with the basics needed for preparing a meal. On our 3rd stop in Croatia, after a long day of hiking the beautiful Plitviče Lakes National Park, we were really craving something warm and comforting for dinner and wanted to relax at our cottage which had a cozy fire and beautiful views of the mountains.

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Knowing we would have limited options at the supermarket in the the small town of Korenica, we decided to make a soup which could be thrown together with whatever ingredients we could find. We started in the produce section to gather the fresh veggies that were available, and ended up with onions, tomatoes and zucchini, then supplemented with a package of mixed frozen veggies that had carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and peas.

We then grabbed a few cans of diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and some pasta. We couldn’t find any broth so decided to make the broth with the tomatoes and water. Luckily our Airbnb was stocked with some olive oil and spices so we didn’t have to buy those!

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With just a few simple, cheap ingredients we made an awesome soup that served 4 of us with plenty of leftovers for our Airbnb hosts. In exchange, they made us crepes with homemade apricot preserves for breakfast the next morning that were pretty incredible. Not a bad trade 😊

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Here’s the recipe, but feel free to swap things out and make it your own, especially if you’re wingin’ it during travel!

Travel Veggie Soup
Serves 6

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 package frozen mixed veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, peas)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until soft, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add salt, pepper, and oregano and stir to combine.

Add diced zucchini and cook for about 8 more minutes, until softened. Then add the tomatoes and frozen veggies and cook until frozen veggies are fully defrosted. A

dd the cans of diced tomatoes with the juice and the drained chickpeas and stir to combine. Fill the empty tomato cans with water and add about 2-3 cans to the pot. Bring pot to a boil.

Add pasta and cook for about 15 more minutes, or until pasta is al dente. You may need to add a little more water if you want more of a soup consistency, or keep it thick for more of a stew. Add more salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with toasted bread. Enjoy!

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