Soup and DaydreamsPosted on Feb 5, 2013 | 2 comments
I am undergoing a new form of self-torture. I am reading two library books in conjunction with each other…and it’s rather wonderfully painful. The titles are “Savoring Tuscany” by Lori De Mori ( a cookbook/photography book) and one of Frances Mayes memoirs; “In Tuscany” (also woven through with alluring and breathtaking photos.) I love my cottage in mid-western Ohio, but when the winter days are long and full of edgy children…I find myself in a bit of a daydream… itching to steal away for a quiet moment and lose myself in the charming pictures and descriptions of far-off Italian countryside. However, reality, in the form of crashing- testosterone- filled-escapades, soon abruptly draws me back to the present…and I cope by going and making soup.
Italian Vegetable Soup
1 lb. of ground beef or ground unseasoned sausage (sausage is my favorite)
1 c. diced onion
1 c. diced celery
1 c. sliced carrots
2 cloves of garlic
1 pt diced tomatoes (opt., but I always add it)
15 oz kidney beans
1 pt tomato sauce (have used homemade ketchup in a pinch)
2 cups vegetable, beef, or chicken broth
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp basil
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Small handful of fresh parsley or 1 TB of dried.
2 cups of shredded cabbage
1 c. frozen green beans
½ c dried pasta
Salt to taste
Brown meat w/onions and drain. Add rest of ingredients except cabbage, green beans, and pasta.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add remaining three ingredients and simmer until they are tender. Adjust seasonings. (I sprinkle a bit of sucanat or drizzle in a bit of honey or agave just to add that pop of flavor.) Ladle into bowls. Pile high with a handful of fresh grated Parmesan. Eat with a bit of crusty bread. Oh, and if you love the smooth, rich flavor of olive oil…you can savor your soup with a long pour of this luxury doused on top. That’s eating in the true Tuscany style. Olive oil is the authentic garnish to all their food.
“Walk into a Tuscan house around mealtime and follow the subtly enticing perfume that beckons you into the kitchen like a crooked finger. Chances are your nose will lead you to a pot of gently simmering soup. The majority of Tuscan soups originated as peasant dishes and embody that most elemental and enviable aspect of Tuscan cooking; the ability to make something both nourishing an delicious from whatever is available…whether a handful of just-picked herbs and fresh vegetables, half a loaf of day-old bread, or a few ladlefuls of beans. Soups speak of an era when life moved at a slower pace, and time (for soup cannot be rushed) was more abundant than money.”