Friday, March 12, 2010

Clean out the fridge night: Minestrone

Not a lot to say about this one; the title is pretty self-explanatory.  I had fun with this soup though, I kept thinking of more things to add as I cooked, which made me feel very spontaneous... even though everything I added was a direct recommendation from Bittman.

He recommends using a mix of hard and soft vegetables for optimum results.  For the hard vegetables, I used a carnival acorn squash from the CSA and I bought a huge turnip.  For the soft vegetables, I used all the kale from the CSA.  

I also threw in the last of a bag of brown rice (not even 1/2 cup) and the last of some arborio rice (1/4 cup).  I also cut the rind off our Parmesan cheese, chopped it up, and added that in with the hard vegetables (it gets really soft and chewy by the end, a very good idea if you have it).  I also added some canned kidney beans.     

I made a double batch...have you ever seen so much soup?!?  I was sorta afraid to bring it to a boil. 

Plenty of leftovers!

adapted from Mark Bittman - How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Serves 4-6 (can be doubled)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 1/2 to 2 cups hard vegetables (potatoes, winter squash, parsnips, turnips, peeled if necessary and cut into smaller than 1/2-inch dice)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups vegetable stock, broth, or water
1 cup cored, peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato (canned is fine, include the juice)
1 1/2 to 2 cups soft vegetables, like green beans, cooked dried beans, zucchini or summer squash, or dark, leafy greens like kale or collards, peeled if necessary and cut into smaller than 1/2 inch dice
1/2 cup chopped parsley leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (optional)

In a large, deep saucepan or pot, add 3 tablespoons oil and heat over medium.  Add the carrot, onion, and celery and cook, stirring, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the hard vegetables to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, the add the stock and tomato (if you want to add rice and/or Parmesan rind, now's the time!).  Bring to a boil, the reduce the heat and let the soup bubble gently.  Stir every once in awhile as it cooks, letting the vegetables soften and the tomatoes break apart (this should take about 15 minutes).

Add the soft vegetables and parsley (and cooked beans, if using) and increase the heat to get the mixture up to a simmer.  Cook for another 15 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, add the remaining olive oil (1 tablespoon), ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan.  

1 comment:

  1. nice job on the leftovers! we are making that potato soup we made when you guys came over a few motnhs back. i want to make like a triple recipe...since we are bringing some to my dad who just had surgery (minor - no worries)


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