Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tuscan Harvest Soup

Here's another wonderful recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant: Cooking For Health cookbook. This recipe is just a teaser - please go buy the book by clicking on the link to the right.

I followed this recipe fairly closely but I added more spices (see italics).

2 cups chopped onion
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp ground fennel seed (I didn't add this - I don't like fennel seed)
1 cup celery, chopped
1 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup fennel bulb, chopped
2 cups green cabbage, chopped
2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash (I used buttercup squash)
4 cups vegetable stock (I used chicken stock)
1 cup water
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained (white kidney beans)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp minced thyme (I had to use dry, 2 tsp)
1/4 cup chopped fennel leaves (or parsley)
3 tbsp lemon juice

I also added ground cumin, ground coriander, and oregano.

In a covered soup pot on medium-low heat, cook the onions and salt in the olive oil for about five minutes.

Add the garlic, ground fennel, and celery and cook for about three minutes.

Stir in the carrots and cook for about three minutes.

Add the chopped fennel bulb and cabbage, and cook for about five minutes.

Add the squash, vegetable broth, and water. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the squash softens but does not fall apart, five to ten minutes.

In a blender, puree 1 cup of the beans with 1 cup of the soup. Stir the puree into the soup pot.

Add the remaining beans, black pepper, thyme, and fennel leaves. Simmer, covered for about 10 minutes until all of the vegetables are tender and flavors have melded.

Just before serving, stir in lemon juice. If desired, place a piece of toasted bread in individual soup bowl, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Ladle the soup over the bread and drizzle a little more olive oil on top.

January 23rd addendum

I have made this soup many times and right now it is my absolute favourite. 1 cup is only about 150 calories and has chock full of nutrients.

I change the recipe almost every time I make it - adding in or substituting various vegetables as well as herbs and spices. I've used different types of squash, I often skip fennel although I love it, but it's pricey right now, I've thrown in parsnips and other root veggies. And almost always, I added chopped greens near the end, such as kale, spinach, or swiss chard.

One of the keys to making this soup yummy, is pureeing part of it. It really gives substance to the broth so don't skip that step.

I make a big pot every weekend and freeze it in 1 1/2 - 3 cup containers to take to work during the week. 1 1/2 cups is the perfect amount for lunch for me, add a few pieces of fruit and I'm good. If I want more protein, I sometimes cook up from barley or quinoa and throw in 1/2 cup cooked grain into the soup just before I heat it up.


No comments: