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Soup for you!

April 1, 2010

Many people tend to rely on soups as “winter warmers”, bowls of goodness to combat the chills and snow from October through March. And while I cannot deny the delicious creaminess of butternut squash soup or a hearty corn chowder, the spring and summer are when my soup making abilities come out.

This may be, in part, due to my chronic WSS, along with the fact that I much prefer to eat ice cream during a blizzard. But I believe it is more than that. My favorite soups are ones with bulk: vegetables and beans and grains, a soup made so hearty it is more of a stew than a broth. And what better time of year to throw handfuls of farmer’s market fresh vegetables into a pot than when they are at their peak? Served along with some crusty french bread and a selection of cheeses, summer soup may be one of the best meals around.

I really fell in love with these vegetable soups through Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Minestrone Soup. Jamie Oliver (Z, close your eyes!) is my long time celebrity crush, ever since I was a freshman in high school and the Naked Chef hit bookstores. Yes, my love for him has lasted more than 10 years 🙂 (P.S. Now I feel old!) Not only does he have a cute mug, but his recipes are divine. Now America is caught up with him, with the success of Food Revolution. But enough about Mr. Oliver — his soup is amazing. I used to ask my Mom to buy everything for the recipe multiple times ever summer; vegetables would cover our entire kitchen counter, only to be brewed into the most lovely medley of flavors. Since then I realized that you can throw almost any combination of vegetables into a pot and out comes a lovely soup. So here is one of my own:

White Bean, Tomato and Kale Soup

1 onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 can of diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 can of cannelini beans, drained
5 or 6 kale leaves, finely chopped
2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
Basil, oregano, salt and pepper

In a pot, saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft.

Add the tomatoes and beans and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the kale, season with herbs, salt and pepper, and simmer with the cover on for 5 – 10 minutes, then the cover off for 5 more.

Serve with french bread or toast.

This soup is so quick and delicious that I made it before work one morning, put the pot in the fridge, and re-heated it when I got home. The more times you heat it, the more the flavors deepen and develop. I love eating something fresh and not from the can, and it makes such a large amount it is cheaper in the long run. My favorite thing is to make a big pot of soup on Sunday and eat it for lunch and snacks throughout the week. Hearty, flavorful, the perfect, simple meal.

What is your favorite type of soup?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2010 8:40 am

    Yum! Looks wonderful! I bet it would be great with bok choy, too!

  2. April 2, 2010 8:52 am

    That looks good, but I’m not a fan of soup at all. They never fill me up. I’m the same way with smoothies too.

  3. April 2, 2010 8:54 am

    Soph this is my type of soup! Yum Yum Yum! I love to eat ones that are loaded with rich, hearty ingredients. I’m so into kale and white beans lately! And you’re so right- they really aren’t just winter warmers. A good spring soup is better. I actually tend to think soups are a little too light for me as a meal so I prefer them in spring!!
    I think my favorite is beef stew- does that count as a soup?

    And Jamie Oliver is so so crushable!

  4. peanutbutterfingers permalink
    April 2, 2010 10:04 am

    i’m a sucker for clam chowder. i looooove it! especially in a big, crusty bread bowl!

  5. April 2, 2010 1:42 pm

    I love soup too and definitely crave it year round! And I confess to just really becoming aware of Jamie, but he is definitely a new crush 🙂

  6. April 2, 2010 3:53 pm

    Looks so fabulous! I love soup and eat it year round! I prefer mine loaded with veggies too. And Jamie is a total cutie 😉 Happy weekend

  7. April 4, 2010 12:11 am

    I love how soup leftovers just get better and better! The kale in this sounds fantastic!

  8. April 4, 2010 4:16 am

    I love both brothy and stewy soups. With the brothy ones, gotta have a good carb in handy on the side though!
    I LOVE Jamie Oliver…totally fell in love with him watching him on the Food Revolution.

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