California Central Coast Recipes
Sues Vegetable Soup, Romantic Table Style
This recipe is a "keeper!" -at least for us anyway! I was in a Blah-mood a couple of weeks ago and I knew I had to "shake things up!" I felt I needed a good vegetable soup to make things right --but I wasn't in the mood for a minestrone. So I decided to make my own vegetable soup recipe up that would fill the bill --and now it's one of my favorite soups ever! Simply called Sues Vegetable Soup-Romantic Table Style it uses a medley of vegetables from your fresh produce section.
Based on a classic trito again, along with sauteed eggplant, zucchini, russet potatoes, baby spinach, fresh basil, some cannellini and kidney beans, and a few chopped tomatoes this soup is bursting with garden fresh flavors.
For its base, the soup can be made using either chicken broth or vegetarian broth if you prefer meatless -either is savory and filling enough to make this a very satisfying entree soup --especially when served topped with a little Parmesan cheese and a few toasted slices of French bread! This is such a FRESH-tasting soup! After you start eating it, you feel fresher and more Spring-like with each slurp!
Preparation time: 45 minutesCooking time: 2 hours
1/2 cup Extra virgin Olive Oil
1 Large White onion , peeled and chopped
2 Large Carrots , peeled and chopped
2 Large stalks Celery , rinsed and chopped
1 Large Eggplant (2 pounds) , stemmed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1-1/2 Large Zucchini , rinsed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 Medium Russet potatoes , rinsed and cut into 1/2 inch dice
8 cups Chicken broth or Vegetarian broth
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes and their juices slightly broken-up
1 10 ounce package fresh Baby Spinach leaves
1/2 cup packed Fresh Basil , chopped
2 15 ounce cans Cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can Kidney Beans , drained and rinsed
Salt and Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Additional Extra virgin Olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping off soup
Toasted Sliced French bead
1/2 pound small cooked pasta to add to cooked soup
1 Pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large stockpot and heat over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until vegetables are tender and sweet and the onion is translucent.
2 Add in the diced eggplant, zucchini and potato and if needed extra olive oil and cook until tender, adding more oil if needed and to prevent sticking.
3 Add in the broth and tomatoes and turn up the heat to medium-high, stirring frequently. Add in the Basil and continue to stir often, picking up vegetables bits from the bottom of the pan and redistribute. Bring to a boil. then reduce the heat to a low-simmer and cover partially and let cook for an hour or so.
4 Add in the fresh spinach, and the canned beans, stir well and bring up the heat a bit to return to a slow simmer. Let cook some more. Taste and add in salt and black pepper to personal taste.
5 After fifteen to 20 minutes, Taste and add correct seasonings.
6 If using cooked pasta, add now.
7 In the meantime, under a broiler, toast some slices of French bread that have been lightly brushed with olive oil. Lightly brown.
8 Serve soup in large soup bowls topped with grated Parmesan cheese with a few of the toasted French bread slices.
This is a robust soup, so serve with a young red wine such as a Sangiovese or a Malbec.