Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vegetable-Bean Soup With Herb-Infused Olive Oil

Vegetable-Bean Soup With Herb Infused Olive Oil Recipe

It's 88 degrees here and I thought, there is no better day than today to make a big pot of piping hot vegetable soup.

Actually not. This was to have been lunch last week and the poor vegetables sat in the refrigerator completely ignored while we were running around the city entertaining ourselves during Mr. SSS's chunk of free time {a career transition}.  

So today I cranked up the A/C and declared that we would lunch at home and eat lightly in preparation for a feast tonight with friends {that would be Stefanie, who can cook like an Italian grandma}. 

So soup for lunch it was and I hope you'll consider this an early gift as you can safely bet that right around the corner is cold weather and with teeth chattering we will all say in earnest, there is no better day than today to make a big pot of piping hot vegetable soup. 

This recipe comes from Jamie's Food Revolution, which is one of those rare cookbooks. The kind you come across once a decade - where every single recipe turns out well with no adjustments necessary. The soup itself is a solid, hearty vegetable soup but what makes it special is the herb-infused olive oil, which is used to finish the soup right before serving. 

Vegetable-Bean Soup With Herb Infused Olive Oil

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart + 3/4 quart vegetable broth
olive oil
one 15 oz can cannellini beans
2 c cauliflower florets, broken into small pieces
2 c broccoli florets, broken into small pieces
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into large chunks
salt and pepper
1 T freshly chopped sage leaves
1 T freshly chopped rosemary
1 T fresh thyme leaves
7 oz fresh baby spinach leaves
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Place the broth in a medium size pot and bring to a rolling boil.

While the broth is heating, heat 2 T olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Stir and then cook, with the lid askew, for 12 minutes. Add the boiling broth to the stock pot and then add the beans, cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer low for 10 minutes with the lid on.

While the soup is simmering, heat 4 T olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the fresh herbs and a small pinch of salt and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

Add the spinach to the soup and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Depending on the chunkiness of soup you prefer, remove 1/4 to 1/2 of the soup and puree in a blender, food processor or by hand with an immersion blender. Add the pureed soup back into the stock pot with the soup and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper {I used 2 t salt and 1 t pepper, but the amount you use will depend upon the sodium content of your broth and your own personal preference}. 

To serve, ladle soup in 6 bowls. Add 2 pinches of grated cheese per bowl. Drizzle each bowl with the herb-infused olive oil. 

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Source: Adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution, Jamie Oliver

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