March 23, 2011

Winter Soup in Spring

It’s called winter minestrone soup, though I enjoyed it equally as much yesterday evening even though it’s spring. Perhaps that’s because it still feels a little like winter around here, with the crusty white stuff still on the ground and nippy wind chill temps hovering around -11 degrees celsius. The soup is chock full of delicious veggies and flavour, making it good year-round.

I made a double-batch so I’d have some to freeze and enjoy after baby’s arrival. And really, when cooking soups and stews it really is just as easy to make a double or triple batch as it is to make a single pot. I started with this stash of ingredients – just look at all that orange and green goodness!

keep in mind this is enough for a double-batch
First, heat the olive oil in the pot.


While that warmed up, I chopped up my onion, carrots and celery.




I found pancetta already chopped, so that saved a step.


You just chuck all that in the pot with the hot oil and a little garlic ... and please don’t judge me for using the pre-minced garlic from the jar. I know the real stuff tastes better and adds more flavour and all that jazz. But I’m about 39 weeks pregnant, so easy-peasy outweighs peeling and mincing individual cloves of garlic these days! I sautéed that together for about 10 mins.


While those ingredients danced away together in the pot for about 10 mins with the occasional stir, I washed and chopped the swiss chard. It’s hearty and holds up to the rest of the soup marvellously. The recipe also calls for a chopped potato here, but I leave it out. Experience has shown the potato doesn’t freeze well, so I sub in extra beans later on.


Once the chard wilted a little, I added in the tomatoes and rosemary (the recipe calls for fresh sprigs, I used dried and it worked just fine). You bring it to a boil, turn back heat and simmer for about 10 more mins.


In the meantime, puree most of the white beans with a bit of broth.


Add it to the simmered veggie mix, along with the rest of the broth and simmer for another 15 minutes or so. I then added in remaining white beans plus the extra that I use to replace the potato. Simmer a couple of more minutes just to let the beans soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste, ladle and serve.


I like mine with crusty artisan bread. But if you prefer crackers, that’s cool too. Either way, it’s healthy, hearty and delish!

For the complete recipe visit thefoodnetwork.com.

2 comments:

sandy said...

definitely trying this one soon!! yummy I love soup!

virgo said...

That looks awesome! Of course, I'm partial to anything with pancetta or proscuitto (even if I can't spell either).