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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My Minestrone Soup

It's raining. It's cold. Its honestly disgusting out. But I could care less. Why? Because today is the perfect SOUP day. (If you are a new follower, your unaware of my love for soup, but I'm actually obsessed). Anyways, today was just the perfect day to sop up some delicious, warm, comforting soup and the rain was only going to fuel my desire. Luckily, today I had plans to cook for Nnes and Feli, and had the accompaniment of my trusty sous-chef Ali. I was in the mood to be healthy, but hearty, and Ali and I went roaming through the aisles of Fresh Grocer to get inspired. I saw a big bunch of swiss chard and immediately thought of minestrone. I've made vegetable soup before, but not specifically minestrone, so today seemed like the day to try. I wasn't really in the mood to follow a recipe so decided to make my own and stocked up and typical things that I thought my minestrone soup needed. We didn't want to settle for one course, so Ali, in typical brilliant fashion, suggested a parmesan arugula salad, which was the perfect side dish for some nice warm soup especially because the arugula is peppery and has a bit of a kick, beautifully complimenting the savory flavor of the minestrone. Served with a piece of big crusty bread and eaten to the backdrop of some John Mayer, it was a lovely afternoon.

My Minestrone Soup
(serves 4)

2 tbs olive oil
1 large vidalia onion
5 large carrots
1 large zucchini
1 large squash
2 tbs tomato paste
1 can of large butter beans
1 can diced tomatoes, save juices
1 large bunch swiss chard
8 cups chicken broth
parmesan cheese

Recipe: Put a large soup pot on the stove, add olive oil, and turn to medium-high heat. Chop the onion, carrots, zucchini, and squash into even bite size pieces. First add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes until onions start to turn translucent. Add the zucchini and squash and cook down until tender, about 7 more minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir until well combined with vegetables and cook for about 5 more minutes. Drain the butter beans and rinse with water and add to the pot. Add the entire can of tomatoes, juices included, in as well. Finally add the chicken broth. Cook down for 10 minutes. Roughly chop the swiss chard and throw it into the mix, cover the pot, and cook for about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls and top with fresh parmesan cheese. ENJOY.

All the vegetables getting in the mix.
 Add the tomatoes, cook doooowwwn and get those flavors strong.
 Honestly this is screaming rainy day.

Arugula and Parmesan Salad


for vinaigrette:
1 tbs Dijon Mustard
3 tbs Olive Oil
1 tbs Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1 tbs Honey

Recipe: Wash arugula. Shave parmesan on a grater in thin sheets. Combine vinaigrette ingredients and whisk until well mixed. Toss salad with dressing.

Some very happy customers.

rain rain go away, come again so I can make soup though

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