I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I did it again. I ran from work home to reheat the soup in the Crock Pot and over to the church to get it served. Then some friends came that I hadn't seen in a while. And of course, Mom brought Nora over. So, I never got around to a picture of this pretty and tasty soup. I dipped my pinky-finger in as I was heating it up to make sure it had enough flavor, but didn't get a good taste. However, there were a number of people who had seconds. So, I think I'm safe in saying it was good.
Recipe for White Bean Vegetable Soup
4 inner stalks celery, including leaves
1 medium onion
4 small carrots, diced
4 slices jalapeno
2 bay leaves
1 T oil
1 T herbed salt
2 lbs. dry great northern beans (You could use any white bean, but I'm partial to Great Northern.)
Soak beans overnight and cook according to package directions. Add 2 bay leaves before you start the cooking process. When beans are nearly finished cooking, chop onion and celery in a food processor. Saute all produce in oil until carrots are soft.
Remove the bay leaves. In a blender, puree roughly 4 cups of beans and water. Return to pot and stir. Consider the thickness of the soup and how much puree you want. Add vegetable mixture and herb-salt to beans, reheating as necessary.
Serving suggestion: In deep plate, ladle soup over thick, hearty, multigrain (for color) bread and sprinkle with paprika.
Saute onions in soup pot or sauce pan about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add sweet potatoes, carrots and celery. Stir. Mix seasoning in water and pour into pot. Cover pot and cook about 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. (The original recipe called for white potatoes. I think they sometimes take longer to cook. Sweet potatoes seem to cook faster to me.) When vegetables are soft, add milk then cheese. The key is to have small cubes of cheese and to add them gradually so they don't clump.
Ladle the soup into a blender. (Be really careful because the blender may splatter when you turn it on. I have a silicone trivet that I cover the blender with so the soup won't splatter and burn my fingers. A towel could work, too.) Reheat soup and serve garnished with fresh herbs as desired. I bet green onions or chives would have been yummy if we had had any. Also, ground red pepper seemed to be a nice addition, too.
The weather has definitely been a topic in the news. So, why should it be any different on a cooking blog? After all, you gotta stay warm! Soup is certainly key to warming up the inside--not to mention, it's often a great assistant in losing or maintaining weight if that was part of your New Year's Resolution.
Now that it's really cold in Florida, I feel like I can share these creative plasticware snowflakes from New York and fit right in. Especially since this morning it was about the same temp as it was in New York early December. What's up with that!
My dear husband sent this news post from kpic.com to me because it quotes Mollie Katzen, the authoress of the successful cookbook series, Moosewood Restaurants. I do love her work so much. Anyway, it's a nice and rather useful little article as we're all looking to cut corners and stay or get healthy.
I thought this picture of these butcher's knives from a to-die-for (even today) World War I kitchen in a "hunting chateau" called Chenonceau in France is an appropriate photo to accompany this post. It was a well-equipped and systematic setup in the early days of technology. It's a must see if you're ever in the area.
For my birthday, Paul bought me a "deck" of soup and stew cards from the Moosewood Restaurant collection. It was such a clever idea, and luckily, it was cold enough to take advantage of them before we left for Paris when my kitchen was nearly empty of food.
The Pampered Chef is a company similar to Mary Kay where people come to your house and host a party selling their wares, but it's even more like Tupperware because the focus is selling items for the kitchen. I have only had two experiences with Pampered Chef, only one included a party. The other was someone handing me a catalog. Do you know where the products are that I purchased from the catalog? Me either.I suspect they're buried deep in a drawer because they weren't very useful when I brought them home. Do you know where the item I bought at the party is? Believe it or not, the cookbook is right beside me. . .but not for long.
Compliments of "Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home," this is by far my favorite soup recipe ever. I love how the broccoli did not overcook to that darker, nearly brown color--even after sitting a while. I used purple onions and orange bell peppers to create a true variety of color pleasing to the eye and to the taste buds. The color of the broth comes out a rather bright yellow when the egg and lemon are added. I feel you could easily skimp a bit on the egg and do just as well. I chose to use brown rice and was very pleased with the results, but it's nice to have a variety of options for cooking.