the need for “green” and a velvety vegetable soup
|May 9, 2012||Posted by ameliaps under soup, vegetables, vegetarian|
If you ask me what food I could not ever give up, or actively choose to eat, that is greens, especially leafy greens. The kind you steam quickly then saute’ in olive oil and garlic, maybe chili pepper. And while I “play” city girl a lot, I really am most comfortable, and in my element, in the green woods or barefoot in the grass.
Nature calls us a lot, yet the other colors (city-grey, white-paperwork, blue-blues, etc.) tend to drown out the “green”, unless we make a concerted effort to listen.
Green soothes the noise and work and travel and busy-ness. When I lay on a grassy field looking up to the trees, I feel the earth pulling me towards her, in a cosmic motherly hug. There is something extremely humbling when we look up at a tall tree and realize that we are not the main living organism on this planet. My dream for this summer is to head out West and visit the Redwood forest to feel my minuscule self disappear in nature’s embrace, climb a sequoia and wander in the forest…
… and then there are simpler ways to get my green fix. Like this simple “minestrone” that can be rendered sophisticated by adding a tablespoon of pesto (green, of course). This Italian staple is a great healthy -yet tasty- soup to make when you have a few extra vegetables in the crisper drawer. If you would like to make it a little richer and layered in flavor, you can sauté the onion with some bacon or pancetta (or bacon) in olive oil before you add the vegetables. To go the extra mile (and give a more caramelized, rich flavor), you could toss the vegetables with olive oil and then slow roast them in the oven at 400F (200C) for an hour, before pureeing.
You can watch the video on how to make the soup (it appeared this past week-end on Atlanta’s channel 11):
|Passato di verdure (Cream of Vegetable Soup)|
- 1 large onion (or 3 leeks)
- 1 stalk celery
- 2 large carrots, peeled (if you like)
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 zucchini
- 1/2 bell pepper
- 2 cups spinach (or other green, such as kale)
- 3 potatoes
- 5-6 cherry tomatoes
- A few leaves of parsley
- 5 cups water or stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)
- Any other vegetables you may have on hand: kale, Swiss chard, fennel, squash, pumpkin, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, peas, etc.
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and ground fresh pepper, to taste
- To garnish: a few slices of toasted bread (or croutons), grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, chopped fresh parsley (optional: a tablespoon of pesto instead of chopped parsley)
- Clean and cut the vegetables into medium pieces. Place them in a large pan, with the bay leaf, and add water (or stock). Bring to a boil, then simmer, on medium heat, covered, for about 30-40 minutes.
- Towards the end of the cooking, add salt and pepper to taste, stir well.
- Remove the bay leaf. Blend the soup (with a stand or stick blender) in batches, until it turns into a smooth and creamy purée.
- Serve warm with a slice of toasted bread per bowl, some fresh grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and chopped fresh parsley. Optionally, you can substitute the parsley with a tablespoon of pesto.