29 September 2008
Comfort food. I guess the hint of cold weather this time of year just brings the desire to eat it (and therefore make it so I can eat it) out in me. I don't think I'm unusual. Many of my magazines and cooking e-mail newsletters are talking about comfort food. Yum. Bad thing is that comfort food usually equals warm, gooey, cheesy food. Like macaroni & cheese. In lieu of my traditional recipe, I think I might try this vegan version as an alternative when the hankering comes. Hey, it's worth trying once, right? I might even like it (maybe).
In an effort to do the "comfort food" thing this weekend I made minestrone. I was inspired by the October 2008 issue of Everyday Food and also inspired to use up some of my veggies from previous CSA bags and also to make something for lunches that was good for me. So, a win-win-win situation. The recipe was easy to follow and allowed for substitutions which was helpful given I didn't have celery and didn't want to put the last of the season's green beans in soup. The magazine's website isn't showing the recipe yet, so I'll so here's my take:
"Classic" Minestrone (adapted from Everyday Food, October 2008):
2 T olive oil
2 small yellow onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 t fresh rosemary, minced
coarse salt & pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
3 small-medium blue potatoes, peeled and diced (I love the color on these!)
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large zucchini, chopped (about 2 cups)
1. In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, carrots, red pepper, rosemary, 1 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion begins to turn golden, 5-8 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes and cook until some of the liquid evaporates. Add potato, chard, beans, and 7 cups water. Bring mixture to a boil and add in zucchini.
3. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. About 15 minutes into the simmer I added fresh soybeans that I had from my CSA bag last week for an additional protein blast. Season with salt and pepper. (The recipe also says to add in garlic, basil, and Parmesan if desired. Drizzle with olive oil to serve.)
I packed up the soup after it cooled into freezer-ready containers that easily pop into my lunchbag. Super easy and made the house smell divine. Cold weather, I'm ready!