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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vegetable and Bean Soup

So apparently, I am a total moron.  I realized just today that the mint-flavored tea I drink constantly at work and which I totally thought was an herbal tea, is actually a black tea.  Oops.  That might explain why I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep.  No more mint tea for me.

Soup is probably OK though
 In other news, winter has finally arrived in the Twin Cities - we had our first below-zero temps, and the first snow that has actually stayed on the ground. Considering that by this time last year we'd had so much snowfall that both St. Paul and Minneapolis had already blown through their Snow Emergency budgets (and that was just the beginning...), I'll take it.

Also, I realize the title of this recipe is ridiculously boring, but the soup isn't.  It is definitely familiar and comforting, but certainly not boring.  My mom always used to make a huge batch of vegetable soup in the winter, put it on the porch to freeze (which is what you do when you live in Minnesota and your soup pot os too big to fit in the freezer) and we'd eat vegetable soup for weeks.  Now that it is ridiculously cold, I want soup constantly - an IV of soup would be lovely.  But instead I'll just use a inefficient. 

Mama says, eat your vegetables!
 The largest pot I have is a seven-quart Staub so my batch is probably smaller than hers, and the recipe is definitely not quite the same, but the basic idea is there: warm, comforting, scads of vegetables.

- 1.5 cups dried cannellini beans (about 3/4 pound)
- 2 large (or 3 small) cloves garlic
- olive oil
- salt
- 1 yellow onion, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
- 4 carrots, sliced crosswise into small circles (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick)
- 2 celery stalks, sliced into crescents (same thickness as carrots)
- 1 zucchini, sliced into half circles (same thickness as carrots & celery)
- 2.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4-5 fresh sage leaves
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1/2 bunch kale, torn into smallish pieces
- 2 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 14 oz can roasted crushed tomatoes
Soak the beans overnight.  Drain the beans and put them in a large pot with enough water to cover by about 2 inches.  Add 1 tsp of salt and the garlic cloves, and cook for 1 hour on medium/low heat.  Stir occasionally.

In a large soup pot or cast-iron pot, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the carrots, onion and celery and sautee for about 10 minutes.  Add the zucchini, broth and herbs and bring to a simmer; then add the tomatoes (whole can, including juices), cabbage and kale.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes.  Add beans and their water, and cook for another 30 minutes or so (until beans are done).  Add salt to taste. 

I also topped mine with shredded parmasean and I highly recommend it.  Stay warm!


  1. Mmm, that soup looks good and today would definitely be a nice day to have the stove on for a while!

  2. I bake on cold days all the time for that exact reason :)

  3. I love soup so much. I could eat it every day. That looks delicious!


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