|Warming, Healthful, and Italian!|
Recipe by Robin
What’s the #1 way to use up lots of veggies from your CSA when nights are cool? That’s right: a hearty, warming soup. One of the keys to good soup is tasty broth. Onion, celery, and carrots, added at the beginning of the cooking time, make a savory broth base. Or use leeks and shallots instead of all or part of the onion. To fully develop their flavor, sauté these veggies before adding liquid to make the soup. Late season tomatoes, added after the broth has developed a bit, turn the broth in a decidedly Italian direction, especially when paired with garlic and dried oregano, basil, and marjoram. Almost any veggie can be “souped,” but be aware that cruciferous veggies like broccoli or kale will tend to dominate the soup’s flavor. Combining milder veggies like squash, potatoes, and green beans with them mellows the blend, as does pasta, rice, or beans. Greens such as spinach, parsley, or leftover basil add freshness and texture to your creation.
|Colorful and Savory Ingredients|
|Prepare Ingredients for Each Step|
|Boil Soup Hard Before Adding Pasta|
|Making a Flavorful Soup Base|
serves about 12
2 tbsp. olive oil
1½ cup chopped onion (1 large or two small)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (2 medium)
1½ cups chopped celery (~ ½ bunch)
¼ cup finely chopped shallots (1)
1 tbsp. minced garlic (~4 cloves)
2 cups carrots, sliced (~4 medium)
8 cups broth or bouillon
2 – 3 bay leaves (depending on size)
1½ lbs. garden tomatoes
1 cup fresh cranberry or pinto beans
2 tsp. tomato paste or puree
1½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
½ tsp. dried marjoram
2 cups broth or bouillon
1 cup pasta shells (organic semolina)
1¼ lb. zucchini (2 - 3), sliced into ¼ inch half moons
¼ lb. spinach, torn (½ - 1 bunch)
½ cup coarsely chopped parsley
Fresh basil or parsley sprigs (optional garnish)
In a deep soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté onion, leeks, celery, and shallots until onions are golden and limp, stirring frequently. This will take about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots and stir to coat with oil, sautéing another minute or so.
Add 8 cups broth or bouillon and bay leaves. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Turn heat to medium low and simmer about 15 minutes, until carrots are partially soft.
Add tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and marjoram. Cover and bring to boil, then simmer for 45 minutes.
Add 2 cups of broth or bouillon. Bring to rapid boil over high heat (this ensures that broth won’t get starchy). Stir in pasta shells. Bring back to rapid boil, then stir in zucchini.
Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice to distribute pasta as it cooks.
Stir in spinach and parsley. Cover and bring to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.