Until I have time to write non-food related posts, here are some recipes I thought were worth sharing.
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
3 small zucchini, diced
2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
14 oz. can diced tomatoes
3-4 c. low sodium vegetable broth
2 or 3 large sage leaves, cut in pieces*
14 oz. can navy or cannellini beans, rinsed
salt and freshly ground pepper
½ c. basil pesto (I use the stuff in a jar)
*experienced cooks already know about this thing called the freezer, but I just figured out that you can chop and freeze fresh herbs for later use in soup and, in the case of dill, salads
- Heat the oil in a large saucepot. Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the carrots and celery and cook until softened. Stir in other vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the canned tomatoes, sage, and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is slightly reduced.
- Add the beans, pesto sauce, and a little more broth if the soup has become too thick and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (The original recipe called for adding small, uncooked pasta during the last 10 minutes of cooking, but to me pasta is a distraction in a soup that already has nice chunky vegetables including potatoes.)
Mmmm, comfort food. For two hungry adults I would make this with half a pound of pasta, for four hungry adults I would use one box of pasta and double everything else. If you are, like me, not an adventurous mushroom eater, I recommend using fresh shiitake and crimini mushrooms. The two times I made this I cooked the mushroom mix ahead of time, then warmed it before adding the cream and cheese.
I used to be opposed to making recipes that called for white wine because of the potential for waste. Then I discovered Albariño wine. Also, and this may be obvious, if you use a tart apple, the soup will have a tart flavor.
This is a crock pot recipe that also requires some frying pan pre-work. I liked it because it’s flexible—I didn’t have enough curry powder, so made up the rest with other spices (would add cayenne next time), and I skipped the green beans and used butternut squash instead of potatoes. It’s also the kind of dish that stores and reheats well. I ate it with brown basmati rice. (Since the recipe calls for half a can of coconut milk, I used the remainder in a bowl of oatmeal. Yum.)
I also made a butternut squash soup that I want to like. It was beautiful and happy looking with confetti-like bits of carrot and corn kernels bobbing among swirls of collard greens. It was vegan and did not include members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant, on which I may be overly dependent). But in the end I couldn’t reconcile the sweet taste with my idea of soup. If you try it, I recommend either adding the carrots earlier or just omitting them (crunchy carrot bits also a turn-off).