Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winter Soups - Part 1

Well, maybe you thought we wouldn't have winter. Our unseasonably warm weather is about to end though. Time to make some soup, because tomorrow there is going to be a blast from old man winter! The great thing about soup is that you can't mess it up. If you don't like cabbage, substitute kale. Want to add a leek, go ahead. Not sure if you'll like a particular spice, try a little in the soup. Taste it, and you can always add more to the soup if you like it. Try my simple minestrone as is, or be inspired to add something, like 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes for a little kick. Make it your own.

Simple Minestrone

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeling and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 1/2 once can of diced tomatoes
3 14 1/2 onces of canned beef broth (I like Collage Inn)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 head of savoy cabbage, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add cabbage and potato and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices, and oregano and thyme. Cook for about 10 minutes. While this is cooking, combine 2/3 cup of beans and 1/4 cup of broth in food processor and puree. Add this mixture to the pot. Add bay leaves and beef broth. Cook for about 20 minutes, then add reserved beans. Cook for 10 minutes. Season to your taste. Remove bay leaves from pot. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

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