Tuesday, March 19, 2013

It's so easy being green

When I saw a recipe for green minestrone recently, my first thought was "Why didn't I think of that?" Because I really hadn't, ever. And if there's anything I appreciate, it's green! I get routinely teased for green shoes, coats, toenails... but I can handle it. What good is a favorite color if you can't take a little teasing?

So I tucked away the basic idea behind the various green soups I saw online, gathered every green vegetable in the house and went to town.

Green vegetable soup 
Makes 12 cups
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 stalks of leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
6 green onions, chopped finely
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped semi-finely
3 cups kale leaves, destemmed and chopped finely
1.5 cups edamame, shelled
4 baby zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cleaned and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
8 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the leeks, onions and garlic. Saute until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and edamame and broth, and bring to a simmer for 10-12 minutes, add the zucchini and asparagus and cook for 5-7 minutes more. Taste the soup for desired vegetable tenderness, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: this soup is a great one to make one evening and eat the following. The flavor is, as with most soups, really better the next day.

This is a really healthy soup! Maybe a little too healthy for some of us (me)... so I trotted out a bit of ricotta and whipped up a quick batch of ricotta gnocchi to go along with the healthy goodness. Lovely. Just the right bit of cheese to counteract the rolicking good health of the soup, and fabulous flavor, to boot.

The variations on this could be somewhat endless... is it green? Toss it in! And if one wanted to make it a true minestrone, little pasta shapes could help toward that end, as well as maybe some cannellini beans...


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