Sunday, January 10, 2010

heavenly soup

I've been in a soup craze lately...last week we had soup three times and next week it's on the menu twice. I don't know what it's easy to make, leftovers heat up well, and my family will eat it in any form. Can't beat that!

This soup is from Ed Fretwell Soup in Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life. Such a great book - half memoir, half cookbook. This recipe makes a TON of soup. We have lots in the fridge and freezer for when the need strikes. If you're not into having so much extra cut this in half. This would also work really well in the crockpot - just dump all of the ingredients in at once and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Molly calls for cooking the dried beans separately, but I think a few cans would do in a pinch (4 for a whole recipe).

Vegetable and White Bean Soup
Adapted from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

1 pound dried white beans
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 large sage leaves
3 T olive oil
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
4 large carrots, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped
1 small head green cabbage, finely shredded
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (I used Italian stewed and it turned out just fine)
1 T salt

Place beans in a Dutch oven and cover with cold water. Add garlic and sage, then bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for about two hours. Add more water so that there is always at least an inch over the beans.

Meanwhile, heat oven over medium heat in a large (at least 8 quarts) pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 1 hour. It won't look like there is enough liquid at first, but keep faith. After about an hour, add the beans and any liquid. Simmer another 40 - 60 minutes. Remove sage leaves, add salt to taste, and serve. We topped ours with grated parmesean and of course Joel had to add some crushed red pepper flakes.

Heaven in a bowl!

If you're going to go the crockpot route, use the dried beans - they will hold up better than canned. Just throw them in dried and they'll cook with everything else.

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