Wednesday, January 13, 2010
A Way to Warm Up
All I heard all day at work was people commenting on how warm it is. Then, tonight as I was driving to the grocery store the radio weatherman said it was going to be warm all week. I stuck my hand out of the window. Yep, still freezing. Then it hit me, we are living in a city that considers 24 degrees Fahrenheit to be warm.
I guess it could be worse. It could be -24 degrees ( which is typical here in January). Still, I had to chuckle.
Being that the weather is still unpredictable ( it may snow later in the week) and real warm weather is months away, I thought I'd share the no-fail way to warm up. A recipe for soup.
Minestrone soup has always been my favorite, because as a kid I had a strong aversion to meat, and this was the one meal I didn't have to worry about. It remains a favorite because, once it is in the pot, I still don't have to worry about it. This soup is so easy to prepare, and the longer it stews the more flavorful it becomes, and while the stove-top is warming up your kitchen, you can make yourself a nice warm mug of coffee and read a good book. That's what I did at least. And before I knew it, I felt like I was on the beach again.
This recipe is completely vegetarian and can easily be made gluten-free. Just substitute water for the vegetable stock.
You can pretty much use whatever durable vegetables you'd like. Feel free to play around.
2 large zucchini
3 potatoes ( peeled)
4 celery stalks
4 carrots ( peeled)
1 head of broccoli
1 cup green peas
1 medium onion
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock ( or water)
2 tablespoons fresh basil ( chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
1.Dice all vegetables ( except peas) into uniform pieces. Blanch the zucchini, potatoes, celery, carrots, and broccoli in boiling water for 3 minutes. Strain.
2.Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook until they begin to look translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook until lightly browned.
3.Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, basil and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes ( the longer this simmers the softer the vegetables will become).
4. Top with a drop of olive oil, freshly grated parmesan cheese and basil. Serve with onion focaccia or crusty bread.