A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Farmers Market Vegetable Soup

This soup was inspired by my recent trip to the farmers market. What I particularly love about the hearty soup is that it feels, looks and smells like an Italian Minestrone. The only down side of a more traditional Minestrone (if there is one) is that once pasta is added to the soup it tends to swell up and soak up all of the broth. In this soup I have omitted pasta and focused on beans and farm fresh vegetables. If you cannot find baby chard simply substitute another hearty green such as spinach. Prepare to make Italian soups in advance – simply save the extra rinds of your Parmesan cheeses in the freezer. Throw the rind of cheese into soups for extra flavor.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
3 carrots peeled and chopped into a dice or bite size chunks
2 zucchini, diced
3-4 cloves of medium garlic, minced
10 leaves basil, torn to bite size pieces
1 large bagful of baby chard greens (about 3-4 cups, use any hearty green)
2 large tomatoes, seeded and cut into a small dice
1 can of cannelloni beans (19 oz)- drained
1 Quart chicken broth
1 Parmesan cheese rind
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste

To serve
Grated Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of great olive oil

Into a large Dutch oven, on med heat add the olive oil. Once the oil has warmed up add in the onion. Stirring occasionally, cook the onion on med heat for 5 minutes. Add to the pot the carrots and continue to cook another 5 minutes. Together add in both the zucchini and garlic then cook another 2-3 minutes. Add in the basil, chard, and tomatoes. Toss for a minute or two to wilt down the greens. Add in the beans, chicken broth, and Cheese rind. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add in salt and pepper to taste then simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and olive oil.

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