The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Archive of ‘Soup’ category

Tortellini Soup Recipe – Last Minute Dinner Idea(r)

 

Some days I have no idea(r) what to make for dinner. Sesame noodles, pasta with olive oil & parm, pizza, and mac & cheese can only be served so many times. Well, LOTS of times, actually.

Here’s something you can literally throw together without feeling *as* guilty. (I’m not a Catholic, but I play one in real life.)

Here’s all you need:

1. Sautee onion in heated oil over medium heat until translucent (about 4-5 minutes.) Add garlic & cook for another minute.

2. Add diced tomatoes.

3. Add oregano.

4. Yell at kids & remind them that you only need 10 minutes if they can just “be good & watch TV!”

 

 

5. Hold baby while finishing this soup and thank your stars you picked something easy tonight.

6. Add broth. Bring soup to a boil. Then add tortellini & follow cooking instructions on package. Unless you made them yourself, in which case you aren’t reading this blog.

 

 

7. A minute before tortellini is done, add spinach. I told you to read the WHOLE recipe before you started! Oh, you say I didn’t? I meant to!

That’s it!! There’s nothing else to do except sprinkle fresh parmesan cheese on top.

 

You really don’t need to bother with bread or a salad which makes fewer dishes.

My kids loved this the first time. (I had to cut Bea’s tortellini up and obviously she couldn’t handle hot soup but she ate the solid parts cut up.) The second time Maddie refused to eat anything but the tortellini. Believe it or not, I have read all sides of the picky eater being made v. born and, with that knowledge under my belt, I think next time I’ll puree the soup before adding the tortellini. In other words, in one ear & out the other.

I might even puree the spinach in if it won’t look too gnarly.

 

***

UPDATE: I made this a few more times and finally have it down! The reasons I omitted the spinach are threefold:

1. My kids hate it.

2. I refuse to buy spinach when my garden is full of swiss chard.

3. It gets slimy the next day. Nobody likes slimy leftovers and I don’t like wasting food.

Instead I added 3-4 shredded carrots. I also pureed the tomatoes before adding. My beloved in-laws gave me an immersion blender for Christmas so I used that. Thanks Fitzs!!

 

Finally, I added some parmesan cheese directly to the soup & stirred. I then sprinkled a little across the top of each serving! Yum!

Adapted from Annie’s Eats.

4.0 from 1 reviews

Tortellini Soup Recipe – Last Minute Dinner Idea(r)
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4
 

The EASIEST, quickest soup to make when you’re not up for cooking! Yes, I love me some soup. – Revised version
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ c onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 9 oz tortellini (fresh or frozen)
  • OPTIONAL: ¼ c chopped parsley
  • salt & pepper
  • grated parmesan, to serve

Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan, stirring to coat in oil. Cook until translucent about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic for 1 more minute.
  3. Add grated carrot & stir. Cook for another minute.
  4. Pour in diced tomatoes.
  5. Add oregano.
  6. Add broth.
  7. Bring to a boil
  8. Add tortellini & cook according to package directions minus 1 minute.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  11. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese & serve!

Notes
I pureed my tomatoes before adding them using an immersion blender. That was to disguise them from my kids. It worked! They ate it all up. I also tossed in just under ¼ c of the grated parmesan & stirred it right into the soup. Yummy!

Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread & Chayote Soup

 

Back in my pre-kid days I went through a 6 month bread-making phase. Without a bread machine. It takes some time but is so totally worth it. What goes better with bread than soup?

My friend brought over some chayotes. (Thanks, Rebecca!)

 

I didn’t take this picture. Obviously.

Photo from Palace of Latin Food blog.

Have you had these? I hadn’t. Having no idea what to do with them, I found this recipe for chayote soup. It was really easy & yummy – but much better the second and third day. Then I went crazy and made this excellent bread to have with it. YUM!

Here’s what you need for the soup:

Where’s the lid?

INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp butter OR olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 chayote squashes, peeled & diced
[OPTIONAL] 3 large carrots, sliced
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt & pepper to taste
crushed red pepper to taste (start with 1/4 tsp)
2.5 cups vegetable broth
1 veg bullion cube (use a chicken flavored one if you can find it! – I actually threw in an old chicken bullion cube I had in the cabinet but Ralph’s has vegetable ones that have a chicken flavor without the poor chicken!)

1. Prepare onion, garlic & chayote.

NOTE: I am no chayote expert but did read about a milky white substance that weeps out of the chayote when you skin/cut it which can cause skin sensitivities. That’s why I wore rubber gloves when cutting! ‘Course I might just be a real Nancy but Lord knows my hands are dry enough & don’t need any added irritants.

2. Melt butter in large saucepan. Saute onion for 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
Add garlic for another minute. Add chayote, carrots,  2 tbsp cilantro & red pepper. Stir to coat with butter.

As you can plainly see, I forgot to add the cilantro. And the carrots. But you won’t!

3. Stir in vegetable broth, bullion cube & 1 tbsp cilantro. Heat to boiling & then simmer on low for 30 minutes. I think I simmered mine over an hour – I kept tasting my chayote to see if it was tender.

4. Ok. Here’s the tricky part. I couldn’t even photograph this since I needed both hands and was using my phone to take pix. In a blender or food processor, puree the whole kit and caboodle until smooth. I did a little at a time because last time I tried to puree a hot soup in the blender there was a LOT of clean up on the surrounding environs. If you like it a little chunky – just puree it a little.

You’ll notice I have whole carrot slices in my soup. That’s because I added maple glazed carrots as an afterthought. I actually have these in my refrigerator all the time for Bea. I will add a link to that recipe as soon as I get a chance! Anyway, they are really tasty but I definitely wouldn’t make them JUST for this soup – carrots do add a nice sweetness though.

5. Pour into bowls & garnish with cilantro or even a dollop of sour cream.

This soup tastes better the second, third & fourth days. VERY healthy yet it seems creamy!

Adapted from AllRecipes.

Creamy Chayote Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

A simple, light chayote soup that warms your cold self all winter & seems creamy without a drop of actual cream!
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter OR olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 chayote squashes, peeled & diced
  • [OPTIONAL] 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste (start with ¼ tsp)
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 veg bullion cube (use a chicken flavored one if you can find it! – I actually threw in an old chicken bullion cube I had in the cabinet but Ralph’s has vegetable ones that have a chicken flavor without the poor chicken!)

Instructions
  1. Saute onion in butter for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic & sauté for one more minute. Add chayote, carrots, 2 tbsp of the cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper and stir often for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth & bullion cube. Bring to a boil. When it starts boiling, turn down to low and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until chayote starts getting tender.
  3. Puree in blender or food processor. Be CAREFUL as it will be hot! If using a blender, do small batches to test it first. Pour blended soup back into your saucepan. Serve with cilantro on top or a dollop of sour cream. YUM!

 

Now for the bread!! Ooooooohhhh the bread!!

Whoever wrote the directions did it so perfectly I have to just repeat them verbatim. No way to improve on them…

Here’s what you’ll need:

(I just realized I put that Flax Seed in the picture but then forgot to add it to the bread dough. Anyway – you can add a little to the bread dough for extra fiber, lignans & omega 3 fats.)

INGREDIENTS:
2 c boiling water
1 c rolled oats
1/2 c honey
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp salt
1 (.24 oz) package of active dry yeast (or 1 1/4 tsp)
1/2 c warm water (NOT hot – hot will kill your yeast)
1.5 c whole wheat flour
4 c bread flour

2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp honey
handful of rolled oats

1. In large mixing bowl (stand mixer bowl if you have one), combine boiling water to oats, honey, butter and salt. Let stand 1 hour.

2. In small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Someone forgot to take a picture of this.

3. Pour the yeast mixture into the oats mixture. Combine wheat flour and bread flour in separate bowl.

Add 2 cups of flour mixture to oats mixture and combine well.

Continue adding flour mixture to mixing bowl by 1⁄2 cup increments until dough pulls together.

It’s starting to pull together:

But you can see it needs a little more flour:

This will happen when between 5 1⁄2 & 6 cups of flour has been added. You may not need the last 1⁄2 cup of flour. (I did!)

4. When the dough has pulled together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Or add your bread hook to your mixer and knead for a few minutes.

5. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hr. (I preheat the oven for about 5 minutes then turn it off, make sure it’s warm but not hot and put the bowl in there to rise, this seemed to work best because for this recipe is there is much more flour than yeast).

Risen dough:

6. Deflate the dough and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place in 9 x 5 greased loaf pans and cover with damp cloth & let rise again until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. (I return the pans to the oven for this step too.)

7. Preheat oven to 375. While oven is preheating mix milk and honey together in mug and microwave for about 20 seconds. Brush warm milk mixture over loaves and generously sprinkle with rolled oats.

8. Bake loaves at 375 for 25‐30 minutes or until top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool before removing from pans.

Can we see that again from another angle?

Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread recipe copied verbatim (pix are mine!) from Fly Through Our Window

You can freeze this – just wrap in foil & then put in an airtight Ziploc Freezer Bag.

She’s got a PDF file as a link on her site!

 

Coconut Lemongrass Soup

 

I know what you’re thinking!! “Christina, Coconut Lemongrass Soup has entirely too many ingredients for me! You can take this recipe & shove it.” To that, my honest reply is, “You’re correct! It’s a lot of effing ingredients!” (I dare you to make sense of effing, Auto-correct! D’OH!! It DID by turning “effing” into “offing”!” And you, Sir, are a formidable opponent.)

Use this recipe to challenge yourself to:
a) Dirty every pot/pan/measuring cup/knife & cutting board in your house.
b) Impress the checkout woman at Ralph’s with your slew of exotic ingredients,
c) Make a beautiful, yummy soup that is sure to impress!

All you need are these ingredients:

Hooo boy, that’s a lot of stuff!

This picture was so dark as a cloud was passing over the house at just that moment. I brightened it in Photoshop. It still looks weird/ugly. As my dad always says, try not to think about it. He’s a real softie.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Infusion:
1.5 c dry white wine
(4) 14.5 oz cans light coconut milk
12 cloves garlic, peeled & bruised
6 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2 inch pieces & bruised
12 slices fresh ginger
3 Thai chilis (cut lengthwise & seeded)

Ok. First you’re going to make the “infusion.” This is great news! You’ll make this, pop it in the fridge, and enjoy the rest of your evening with the whole bottle of dry white wine (less the 1.5 cups, mind you), Bravo TV and a massive pile of laundry to avoid.

THE INFUSION
Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let it sit for a minimum of 2 hours. Overnight is ideal. And more supportive of any Bravo habit.

NOTE: Wearing rubber gloves, I used 3 Thai chilis which I first sliced lengthwise, scraped out the seeds, and then chopped. Thai chilis are MORE THAN HOT. (If you don’t believe me, click that link & scroll down – Thai chilies merit a 5 chili pepper heat rating which is 1 chili pepper hotter than a Serrano chili pepper. D’OH!)

Slice ‘em lengthwise

To say these are hot is an understatement.

Get rid of these seeds. Unless you’re making this soup for an enemy. Oh yeah, and no matter how much your eye itches, do NOT SCRATCH YOUR EYE!

[Incidentally, the infusion can be stored in the fridge for up to a week in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, after straining it.]

Ok. Now for the soup!

INGREDIENTS
For the Soup:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 c minced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 teaspoons salt
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
2 c chopped cabbage
About 10 small mushrooms, quartered (feel free to do more if you like them!)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced in short strips
1/2 pound extra firm tofu, diced
1.5 c basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1-3 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp sugar

OPTIONAL: 10 kaffir lime leaves, torn
ALSO OPTIONAL:
Any veggies will be fine as substitutes: cauliflower, baby corn etc.

THE SOUP
1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, saute about 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic, ginger and half the salt for another minute or two.

2. Add the carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and the rest of the salt and stir. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

My advice: unless you want pink soup, do NOT use purple cabbage!

3. Add zucchini and bell pepper, cooking for another minute or two.

4. Strain the infusion into the soup, and heat to almost boiling.

5. Turn heat down to low and simmer for a few minutes.

6. Add the tofu, basil, lime juice, about 10 torn kaffir lime leaves (if you have ‘em!) & sugar.

7. Add cayenne & curry powder to taste. Another option if you have it: add fish sauce. Of course I didn’t have any fish sauce so I didn’t add any!

Oh my gosh! I love this soup but I loved it even more over the next two days. You may notice my finished soup has a pinkish hue to it. That became even more pronounced each day and was due to the purple cabbage. I used purple cabbage simply because I had it in my fridge already. You should use a non-purple cabbage. Unless you want pink soup!

SUBSTITUTIONS:
1. If you can’t get Thai chilis, you can use Jalapeños or Serranos. See the link I posted above about how to substitute them.
2. Don’t worry about the kaffir lime leaves if you can’t get them!
3. Lemon juice can replace the lime juice in a pinch.
4. Vegetables – feel free to throw any veggies you think will be good in there! I chose veggies for beauty, color, and convenience.

This soup will really wow your company! Maddie surprised me by picking out all the mushrooms. And then EATING them. What kid does this?

Adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven. (Thank you, Nina!!)

 

Coconut Lemongrass Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6-8
 

Creamy, Thai-inspired soup with complex flavors. Happens to be vegan too!
Ingredients
  • 1.5 c dry white wine
  • 4) 14.5 oz cans light coconut milk
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled & bruised
  • 6 stalks lemongrass, cut into 2″ pieces and bruised
  • 12 slices fresh ginger
  • 3 Thai chilis (seeded & chopped)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cups minced onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 c chopped cabbage (NOT PURPLE)
  • 10-20 small mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 red peppers, thinly sliced, in short strips
  • ½ pound extra firm tofu, diced
  • 1.5 c coarsely chopped basil
  • 1-3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • cayenne & curry powder to taste

Instructions
  1. Combine the wine, coconut milk, 12 cloves garlic, lemon grass, sliced fresh ginger & chilis in a large soup pot or Dutch oven & bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat and leave to infuse for at least 2 hours. Overnight is ideal.
  2. NOTE: infusion will keep in the fridge for up to a week. Just strain it and put in a jar with a tight fitting lid.
  3. Now, for the soup, heat the oil at medium in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Saute the onion for about 4-5 minutes, or until it’s translucent. Add ginger for another minute. Add garlic for another minute stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, carrots & cabbage. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add zucchini & red pepper, cooking for another 2 minutes.
  5. Strain infusion into the pot and heat to almost boiling.
  6. Turn down & simmer for a few minutes.
  7. Add lime juice, tofu & kaffir lime leaves.
  8. Add 1 tsp sugar.
  9. Finally, add cayenne and/or curry powder to taste!
  10. ENJOY!!

Notes
I was eating this soup up to 5 days after making it and all the veggies held up really well. I would guess it’s good in the fridge for a week tops.

 

Halloween & Corn Cheddar Chowder Recipe

 

Maddie’s been obsessing over Halloween all year since we saw THE MONSTER last year! When we went trick or treating last year, some guy in an “Alien” costume. We should have noticed the front step was littered with abandoned candy. When we walked up & yelled “Trick or Treat” the door opened reaaaaaaalllllyyyyyyyyyyy slowly, smoke came out, an alien with a skull face slithered over to the door and held up a massive claw which we finally figured out, he expected us to “high five.” Most of the kids shrieked and some dropped their candy. Maddie & her friend Aston DID eventually high five him & get more candy to replace the candy they had spilled/dropped.

Here’s some of the poorly shot video. I was Foofah. If you know what that means, we are bonded for life. Or until our children move out.

Ever since, she’s been scared all year but dying to see more monsters.

Oh, here is a cute one of Maddie & Aston lest you think they were terrified the whole time.

Finally, the year passed & it was almost Halloween again! We headed over to the Grant School Halloween Festival a week prior.

First the girls got dressed.

A fairy princess.

And a Kentucky Wildcat cheerleader.

Maddie insisted on pulling Bea in the wagon. It seemed like a good idea at first.

But was slow-going. (30 minutes later we are now 2 houses from ours.)

Maddie went in the bouncy house.

Should I or shouldn’t I?

She went for it!

Her dismount.

Bea at the petting zoo.

This baby goat entertained everyone by jumping on his mama’s back.

 

Then he nursed from his mama as the outdoor part of the festival was shutting down.

After the sun went down we decided to venture into the “Haunted Hall.” The girl at the door asked us how scary we wanted it. How scary? That’s like asking how spicy you want your Thai food. “Medium scary,” I answered, playing it safe. We walked in and instantly 3 figures approached us, horrible, scabby, melty faced folks – Maddie shrieked in my ear – a never-ending shriek – which brought out the girl from the front who then ran through the hallway instructing the various demons, ogres, witches, corpses, monsters & what looked inexplicably like Batman’s “The Joker” to not be scary. The Joker thought it wouldn’t be scary if he sang “It’s a Small World.” The Joker was mistaken.

 

We went home & stewed on that for a week and finally the day had arrived, and it was Halloween. I tried to feed the girls this beautiful corn chowder I had made but no. They preferred not to fill up on vitamins & nutrients when they knew candy was coming.

 

I ended up doing what I end up doing every night, I ate the corn chowder myself. Maddie & G ate some later that night and everyone ate it the next day. What was I thinking?

Anyway, you will LOVE this corn chowder! If you have fresh corn, it’s better but you can definitely use frozen if that’s what’s available.

 

Here’s what you need:

NOTE: I either forgot to include before or changed some of the items in this picture after taking so enjoy the picture but read the directions!

INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 bell peppers (red, yellow & orange), finely diced
4-5 ears of corn (I only had 4), kernels sliced off
1/4 c all-purpose flour
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups milk or half & half
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 c green onions
8-20 smallish potatoes (You can omit these if you don’t have them – just cut out 1 cup of veg broth and 1 cup of milk. If it’s too thick, add some back!)

OPTIONAL: bread bowls

 

 

1. Chop onion fine. I think I go overboard on this since people in my family are so sensitive about natural looking/shaped plant matter.

 

 

2. Saute chopped onion in oil/butter on medium high heat (you can do all 4 tbsp butter or all 4 tbsp olive oil or do what I did: 2 tbsp butter & 2 tbsp olive oil.) for about 4-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.

 

 

3. Add chopped peppers & saute (stirring occasionally) for another 2 minutes.

 

 

4. Add corn for another 2 minutes. (ALWAYS stir occasionally to be sure all the veggies are coated in the butter/oil.)

 

 

5. Add flour & stir, being sure all the veggies are coated with flour.

 

 

6. Add the broth & stir. Soup will start to thicken at this point.

 

 

7. Add milk.

 

 

8. Remember the bag of potatoes in the fridge and quick as lighting peel & dice them! I made the pieces pretty small since I didn’t think I had much time to make them tender. Oh wait, you diced them already being that you probably read the whole recipe BEFORE you start cooking! Well, truth be told, the recipe I was looking at didn’t have potatoes in it and it was at this point I realized I had a lot of broth in my soup and a lot of potatoes in my fridge so I went for it! But you were prepared ahead of time. Add those taters to the soup & turn it to boil hard for about 7 minutes. Test a potato or two & turn it down low when they’re tender enough.

 

 

9. Add green onions & cheese. I usually prefer to grate my own cheese – I read something about the pre-grated cheese having mold inhibitors on it and it also seems kind of dry. That being said, I still use grated sometimes! In short, add whatever cheese you have, like, was on sale, etc. to the soup & stir, stir, stir!!!! Now it’s looking reallllllllyy good! NOTE: I hardly had any green onions. It was one of those times you’re in the store thinking, “Oh yeah, I have a TON of those!” when you don’t.

Cheddar Corn Chowder Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6
 

Comforting, healthy, fresh, yummy cheese corn chowder. How can you go wrong?
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 bell peppers, diced (red, orange or yellow)
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels cut off
  • ¼ c all purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese (or any cheese you love)
  • ⅓ cup green onions, sliced
  • OPTIONAL: bread boules (for bread bowls)

Instructions
  1. Sautee onion in oil & butter, stirring occasionally for about 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  2. Add peppers for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add corn for another 2 minutes. Yep, you guessed it, stir a little!
  4. Add flour & STIR!! Coat all the veggies in the flour.
  5. Add veggie broth keeping it at medium heat.
  6. Add milk.
  7. Add potatoes. Turn to a hard boil for 7 minutes. When potatoes are tender to eat, turn down to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  8. Add cheese & green onions & stir. When cheese is melted & combined, turn heat off & add salt or pepper as needed.
  9. OPTIONAL: If you are using bread bowls, cut off the tops (saving them!), scoop out the innards (most, not all of them) and ladle soup in. Trader Joe’s has some nice boules that are not too big – they come four to a bag. Just look in the crusty unsliced bread section.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Corn & Cheese Chowder.

 

Maddie ate some when she got home from trick-or-treating!

After taking inventory.

Hearty White Bean Soup

 

I know what you’re thinking. “Couldn’t she have poured that soup into a clean pot?” The answer is, “No.

I really couldn’t – I’m lucky I got that soup done at all. And it came out great but I agree, it, that moment, really wasn’t a photo op.

Growing a fall garden seemed like SUCH a great idea so I could avoid trips to the Farmer’s Market only to buy (& then let rot) lettuces and greens that appealed visually but that I had no idea what to do with. Well, I didn’t know my garden would grow so quickly and now I have to actually eat this stuff!! (What a problem to have?)

Last week I posted a pic of my fall harvest asking people what to do with it. I got a few great ideas and executed one of them a couple of days ago. I made the white bean soup with my Rainbow Swiss Chard & parsley. Incidentally, those leaves kept really well for about 5 days in the fridge – I washed them, wrapped them in damp paper towels & stored in fridge in a Ziploc. They were really fresh & crisp when I took them out a few days later.

This soup is extremely tasty, healthy, easy & soooooooo good for those chilly (70 degree) fall nights. (That parenthetical was for my sister’s benefit as well as anyone else whose Halloween was cancelled due to SNOW this year.)

Here’s what you need: (+ 1 more can of beans & a bunch of parsley & basil)

INGREDIENTS:
2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
32 oz vegetable broth
3 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans (or white beans – I think mine are bigger beans)
1 (32 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasonings
1 bunch greens (spinach, swiss chard, beet greens etc.)
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c chopped fresh basil

1. Saute onion in hot olive oil over medium heat for 4 minutes or until translucent. Make sure to coat onion with olive oil & stir occasionally.

2. Add garlic and stir. Sautee with onion for about a minute.

I love garlic.

3. Add vegetable broth!

4. Add 2 cans of the beans and 1/2 of the tomatoes to the broth. Turn medium-high to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

5. To make soup extra creamy, add the 1 remaining can of beans and the rest of the diced tomatoes to your blender or food processor. Hello, I do NOT have a food processor. Christmas is coming, friends & family!!

I cannot emphasize enough how important holding the lid on is.

Not only does this thicken the soup but it also tricks family members into eating things they would never eat in a recognizable form.

Add the blended concoction to the simmering soup.

Isn’t it ironic that some people who gag at the sight of diced tomatoes (or any tomatoes) find odds & ends of pig guts comforting? Being one of those people, myself, I’m definitely not judging!

6. Add chopped greens (whatever you chose/have on hand), the chopped parsley & basil to the soup. Guess what? I didn’t have any basil. I cannot keep my basil alive in the garden (full/partial sun) or even in those window pots you can get at Ralph’s. But I think you ought to add basil to yours. Or not.

Have you seen Rainbow Swiss Chard? It’s a beautiful thing. I only planted it b/c of how pretty it was.

As you can see from my picture at the top of the post, my pot is quite “coated.” Yours won’t look like that. Mine looks like that because I set it to boil, then ran back to the girls’ room to break up a fight. There, I quickly forgot I was cooking and started reading “It’s Christmas, David!” Suddenly I remembered I had set something to boil, jumped up & ran to the kitchen. Sure enough it was boiling, probably for 10+ minutes. Boiling HARD. Anyway, I simmered it after that. We did not eat it right away as it was done just after lunch. So instead I spooned it into freezer bags to store & exchange with our neighbor.

This soup is supposed to be very good after freezing. Since I knew nobody in my house (except for yours truly) would like this soup due to all the ahem, green things & tomatoes, I froze it in 3 parts and will be reheating it this week.

What I learned about freezing soup:
1. Soup with fresh veg freezes better than soup made with frozen veg.
2. Do not freeze soup with potatoes. The potatoes are not tasty & get a strange consistency.
3. Pour soup into airtight containers or bags leaving a little room to expand.
4. Freeze soup in bags flat so they are more easily stored.
5. Store in freezer no longer than 3 months.

Stay tuned for the post with someone eating the soup! I did taste it a whole bunch & it’s yummy. I plan on serving it with a parmesan crusty toast & will share the results!

Love to hear any comments below on what you did differently or how it came out for you! Thank you, Dena, for this idea!

Hearty White Bean Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 4-6
 

Tasty & hearty fall comfort food! Easy to make & freezes well!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 32 oz vegetable broth
  • 3 (15 oz) cans cannellini or white beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (32 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 5 oz chopped greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard etc.)
  • ¼ c chopped parsely
  • ¼ c chopped basil
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Instructions
  1. Sautee onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Be sure to stir to coat onion with oil. Add garlic for 1 minute. Be sure to coat garlic with oil as well.
  2. Add broth. Add 2 cans of beans and half the can of diced tomatoes & Italian seasoning.
  3. In a blender or food processor, puree 1 can of beans with rest of tomatoes. Add to soup.
  4. Bring soup mixture to a boil on medium-high heat. Once it’s boiling, reduce heat to simmer for 25 minutes.
  5. Add greens, parsley & basil. When greens have wilted, taste & season with salt & pepper accordingly.
  6. Serve in individual bowls with Parmesan cheese shavings & crusty bread!

Notes
This soup freezes well in plastic containers or freezer ziploc bags! Store frozen no longer than 3 months.

 



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