“There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.” ~Laurie Colwin, ‘Home Cooking’ (1988)
We really like soup. Mmmm, a thing that cooks in one pot, gives off a wonderful aroma, and makes my home feel all cozy. It promises a comfortable and comforting meal and it requires some sort of bread. I served this soup with Sylvia’s Ozark Corn Bread and it was a delicious pairing.
Fresh corn wasn’t available, but everything else was fresh except the tomatoes. (I find organic canned tomatoes are much tastier than the fresh ones, at least where we live.) It was easy to prepare in part because of how everything timed out. While the leeks, celery and bell pepper were cooking, I chopped the garlic and measured out all the spices in a bowl. After adding the garlic, spices, tomatoes and liquid, the pot was left to simmer. I recruited Bill to chop the butternut squash while I whipped together the corn bread and popped it in the oven. Now it was time to add the squash to the pot, and while it simmered the green beans were prepped and the white beans were rinsed and drained. Those were added to the pot along with the corn and that was it–just waited for the soup to simmer a bit to cook the green beans and then DING! ..ahh perfect timing, the corn bread was done.
A number of reviewers for this recipe on Vegetarian Times web site said it was a little bland, so instead of 8 cups of water I used 4, and added 4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth. We found it to be a very flavorful and hearty soup. The herb combination was really good, and the soup was even better leftover. This one is a definite repeater in my galley!
Serves 6 Ingredients *I used organic, no salt added, diced tomatoes. Directions
Source: Vegetarian Times
September 2013 p.61
Vegetarian Times says “Bright, beautiful, and bursting with veggies, this colorful minestrone is a great way to stretch the harvest”.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced leeks
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon salt, optional
4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or 2 teaspoons dried sage
½ tsp. Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
2 large tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped (1 cup)*
4 cups of water
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (¾- to 1-inch cubes)
2 cups green beans or flat beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 15-oz. can or 1½ cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
2–3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish, optional
*I used organic, no salt added, diced tomatoes.