Friday, February 27, 2009

Soupruary 27th: Stracciatella

After realizing that I’d spent 26 days with about six non-sleeping hours spent by myself, I decided it was time for a night off from company and some soup-for-one.



Location:
My apartment, Cincinnati, Ohio

Attendees:
Me

Menu:
Vegetarian Stracciatella



Entertainment:
Eugene Mirman’s brilliant The Will to Whatevs (although I think he could’ve used another editing pass—hola, typos on every page.)

The Soup:
Good, cheap, takes less than five minutes to make, and I was full! What's not to love?

2 c vegetable broth
2 eggs
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 T parmesan
pinch of nutmeg

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the salt, pepper, nutmeg and parmesan. Let the broth simmer, then start a little whirlpool in the broth using a whisk. In a steady, slow stream, pour the egg mixture into the swirling broth so as to form ribbons of egg. A this point, I also added some ribbons of romaine lettuce, just for some color and texture (and because I had some in my refrigerator). Serve with additional parmesan if desired.

Soupruary 26th: Minestrone

I decided it would be fun to look up Minestrone on Wikipedia since it's such a classic soup, and I was right! Fun! I learned that the word minestrone comes from minestra (soup) and the suffix -one to make it literally mean "the big soup." Fun, right? I also learned that the Roman armies were said to have survived on minestrone. Double fun! Also, probably violent.

Location:
My apartment, the party room, Cincinnati, Ohio

Attendees:
Cybelle, Erin, Janice, Lauren, Sara, Sirli, me


Why are there so many bottles of wine on the table? FridayThursday!

Menu:
Soup + Salad + Cheese + Hummus + Bread + Lemon Cookies

Entertainment:
Trying to take pictures of Erin to prove she exists (she's sneaky!)
Trying to get Erin to stop doing my dishes (although I think that's my new favorite thing about her)


Trying to keep people out of my certified disaster area of a bedroom (and I use the word "bed" lightly)
Gossip and confessions that shall not be published even on a blog that only 5 people read

The Soup:
Here's my cousin Kathryn, who is (1) one week older than I, (b) incredibly beautiful, and (iii) someone who I haven't seen for more than a decade but get to talk to once in a while via the magic of Facebook. When I first posted about doing this silly experiment, Kathryn said I had to try her mom's minestrone recipe and then followed through with the recipe.


And, seriously: YUM. Lauren said it might be the best minestrone she's ever had. I don't know if I can go that far just because I think everyone likes their own mother's minestrone best, but this was different and really, undeniably, incontrovertibly good. A little smokey, a lot hearty, a lot delicious.
I did make a few additions (pasta and spinach) based on my personal taste, but other than that followed Aunt Carolyn's recipe exactly.


When going to the grocery on Wednesday night I accidentally went the wrong way on the highway and ended up in Kentucky. Oops! Dixie Hwy Kroger! They (shockingly) ended up having everything I needed, although I confused the H out of the poor deli counter boy by asking for pancetta. I had to repeat myself three times, then he had to come out from behind the counter to figure out what I was pointing at, then he still couldn't figure out what the pancetta was in order to cut it so he had to unwrap a few items and ask me which one it was, while muttering "I ain't never heard o' that..." to himself. Oh, Kentucky. You're so adorbs.


8 c Chicken Broth
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c chopped parsley
4 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 lb diced pancetta
1 chopped onion
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 potato, diced
2 zucchini, chopped
1 28-oz can whole peeled San Marzano variety tomatoes
1/4 lb mushrooms, chopped
1/4 lb green beans, chopped
1 ham hock
2 c fresh spinach leaves
6 oz orecchiete
salt/pepper

Heat oil in large soup pot. Add parsley and garlic. Saute over medium. Add pancetta before garlic changes color. Saute until lightly brown. Add vegetables and stir. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Add broth to water and add ham hock. Simmer 40-50 minutes. Meanwhile, cook your pasta to al dente in a separate pot and shock with cold water to stop cooking. Add spinach to soup in last five minutes of simmering. Remove 1 - 1 1/2 cups and blend in food processor until smoothish and then put it back with the rest of the soup. Add your cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with parmesan cheese and crusty buttered bread for dipping. Its always better the next day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Soupruary 25th: Silky Cauliflower

I don't even like cauliflower.


Location:
My apartment, Cincinnati, Ohio

Attendees:
Adam, me (complete with dark circles under my eyes; this soup is going to be the death of me!)


Menu:
Cauliflower Soup
Linguine with Sausage, Lemon & Parsley


Entertainment:
Coming up with names that start with M for a yet-to-be-named project (Mert? Mundungus? Mog?)

The Soup:
For some reason I was really excited about trying this soup, even though (as previously disclosed) I'm not cauliflower's biggest fan. I think I was overly excited. It was good, but nothing to write home about (apparently it is something to write Internet about though). I modified the recipe to use vegetable stock rather than chicken broth since I've been trying to keep my veg soups totally veg, but I think this may be one that would've benefited from the chicken broth. There was a vague sweetness to the soup, which, while it was not exactly unpleasant, I could've done without. Adam posited that the sweetness was due to the silk I added, but I think that was a joke. I also think a dash of nutmeg and cayenne would've been tasty. For all these reasons I think I might try it again. Maybe cauliflower will convert me yet.


Adapted from Dave Lieberman at foodnetwork.com

1 head cauliflower
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c vegetable stock
2 c water
1/2 c finely grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop, and reserve.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a blender and return it to the pot.
Add the Parmesan and stir until smooth.
Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Soupruary 24th: Carrot & Sweet Potato

Who invited beta-carotene to the party? (I'll give you a hint: It was me.)

Location:
My apartment, Cincinnati, Ohio

Attendees:
Josh, Matt, me


Menu:

Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup
Tofu & Rice Noodle Salad


Entertainment:
Just good conversation at my place, but it deserves to be noted that this happened later:


The Soup:
I feel very good about this soup—healthwise, it's pretty awesome; in the texture department, it's velvety and decadent; the flavor transcends both carrot and sweet potato to reach some new plane of orange root vegetable savorissitude. (Don't worry, I work for the spelling bee so I'm totes allowed to make up new words.)

Almost as orange as my YYA hoodie!

I almost had a breakdown when I realized I'd left my trusty immersion blender at Taylor's the nigth before and he was already at another party. Luckily: Magic Bullet® to the rescue! It was a pain and it took a while and got the plastic bullet up to nearly skin-searing temperatures, but it did the job. I thought I was staring down a soup fail, but it was really just another reason to be grateful that Liz & Sam bought me the most ridiculous/awesome birthday present ever.

Adapted from infectiousrecipes.com

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsley chopped
4 c vegetable stock
1 15-oz can lite coconut milk
thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh cilantro, as garnish

Place sweet potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic in your soup pot and cover with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer until all vegetables are tender (about 25 minutes). And coconut milk and fresh ginger and cook for another 5 minutes. Puree until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with cilantro leaves.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Soupruary 23rd: Tomato, Spinach & Tortellini

An easy, quick, super-filling weeknight meal that I can't imagine anyone not liking? Sign me up, yo.


Location:
Taylor's house, Covington, Kentucky

Attendees:
Adam, Kate, Kris, Taylor, me


Menu:
Tomato, Spinach & Tortellini Soup
A whole lotta garlic bread
A salad I didn't make because we were too full of soup

Entertainment:
Anthony Bourdain on a full stomach, which is preferable to Anthony Bourdain on an empty stomach

The Soup:
This soup was definitely a meal. Adam said he thought it might be his new favorite, and there were seconds and second-seconds going down in the kitchen. Not the healthiest soup, but mmm mmmmm tasty. And, I have to admit, I've been craving a heavy, pasta-centric soup after this 22-day liquid joy streak.

Adapted from Bon Apetit, November 1991

1/4 c unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-oz cans San Marzano tomatoes (peeled, whole)
1/4 t dried oregano
1 t sugar
1 T dried basil
1 10-oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 9 oz. pkg fresh three-cheese tortellini
1/2 c cream
1/2 c milk
1/2 c fresh grated parmesan

In your soup pot, melt the butter and sautee the onions and garlic over medium-high heat until onions are very tender. Add tomatoes, oregano, sugar, and basil, and simmer about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree until smooth with an immersion blender. Return to heat and add spinach and tortellini; simmer until tortellini is tender (7 to 9 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in cream and milk. Season with salt to taste. When serving, garnish with parmesan.

Soupruary 22nd: Chilled Blueberry

You can all this soup either Frost/Blueberry or Frozen River Soup; but neither of them won any Oscars...


Location:

Mikey B.'s, Fort Mitchell, Kentucky

Attendees:
These folks:


Menu:

All I made was the soup, but there was an array of nommables ranging from lemon-rosemary cookies with mascarpone (Cookie Cristina Mascarpona) to baguette with melted brie (Milktoast).
Entertainment: The 81st Annual Academy Awards (I cried three times!)
The ever-popular clap-as-someone-emerges-from-Mike's-bathroom game

video

The Soup:
Well, I suppose I had to do a chilled soup at some point, and with two (2!) chilly titles nominated for Oscars this year, it seemed to be the excuse I needed.


This was very sweet. Very sweet. It was tasty, but...it'd probably be better in a shot glass-sized serving than in a bowl.


Or maybe I'm just weird about cold soups.

Adapted from Cookie, July 2007

juice of one orange
1/2 c sugar
1 c water
1 c fruity white wine
2 c fresh blueberries
1 c plain yogurt

In a deep saucepan bring orange juice, sugar, water and wine to a boil, and boil for about one minute. Add blueberries and boil for another minute. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Puree the mixture, then strain through a fine sieve. Just before serving, stir in the plain yogurt until fully incorporated.

Soupruary 21st: Hot Pot

I wanted to find something to make that was party-worthy, customizable, vegetarian and carnitarianivorousish, and at least vaguely pan-Asian-influenced. Thus: The cheater hot pot!


Location:
Adam's house, Covington, Kentucky


Attendees:
Adam, Aileen, Ashley, Evey, Kevin, Yusef, Mikey, Shiv, Taylor, me


Menu:
Hot Pot

Entertainment:
PAJAMAJAMIYAZAKITHON!!!

The Soup:
This soup was different for each person who ate it. I like that it allowed everyone to be involved in the food. The spread was rather pretty, and the leftovers made some great stir fry the next day. I have to give special thanks to Adam here; I had to duck out to attend another party for a while before all the Pajamajam guests had arrived, and he did the stirrin' and fryin' for the rest of the folks.
I'm calling this happy party soup cheater hot pot, because really everything should just be cooked by the broth instead of being stir-fried (as I did it), and I should have made a broth from scratch. But! This seemed to work. Here's what I did:

Chopped vegetables:
green beans
green onions
daikon
snow peas
carrots
celery
red bell pepper
shiitake mushrooms
asparagus
broccoli
napa cabbage
hot finger chiles

Also:
bean sprouts
bamboo shoots

Minced:
garlic
fresh ginger

Garnish:
cilantro
lime wedges

chicken breast, cut into bit sized pieces and stir-fried with Szechuan chile sauce

extra firm tofu, cubed

cellophane rice noodles, soaked in hot water 15 minutes and cut in 3-inch sections

vegetable broth, brought to a boil and seasoned with salt, green curry paste and Szechuan chile sauce to taste

Have guests pile their selected ingredients into their bowls, stir fry for about 30 seconds on medium-high heat, and pour the ingredients back into the bowl (one at a time, but it goes quickly). Ladle broth over ingredients, garnish and serve.

Soupruary 20th: Ramadan Soup

Hey, y'all! Let's get together and make Yusef homesick!


Location:
The Party Room, my apartment, Cincinnati, Ohio


Attendees:
Adam, Brian, Kelly, Kevin, Shiv, Yusef, me

Menu:
Yusef's Gramma's Ramadan Soup
Foul Mudammas & Pita
Four Pepper Salad
Entertainment:
Ruckus Roboticus on the stereo
Inordinate displays of my friends' creative genius during The New Yorker Cartoon Caption Game

The Soup:
On Soupruary 1st, Yusef told me about this soup that his mother and grandmother make, and said he'd have to get me the recipe. And boy am I glad he did.
This.
Was.
Delicious.
Our mealtime conversation consisted only of exclamations of how good the soup was, how the chicken was melting off the bone, how the flavors in the broth were divine. And even Yusef said I pretty much did it right.


Because it's too cute not to include, here's Yusef's email to me:

"the thing that you'll notice, is that pretty much all my mom's measurements are approximate. the great thing about this is that it is not from a cook book, or awritten recording of the recipe. this is how my mom learned to cook it from my grandma and my aunts. and they all cook to taste. so you are getting an authentic Arabian family version of this recipe. and though i wish i could've learned this straight from my grandma, i'll have you know that her food can asplode the mind. i believe the official name of this soup is 'shoorba't hab' or 'grainsoup', but we always called it Ramadan Soup. we rarely ate this soup in other months, but during Ramadan, we had this soup almost every day. it saves really well."

You'll need a spice ball for this recipe; mine has a snowman on it, which deeply confused Yusef.
Now, the recipe for my new favorite non-vegetarian soup, semi-translated into standard recipe format:

1 small chicken, minus the breast
7 c water
1 c coarse ground bulghur (or oats)
1 tomato, peeled and grated
2 T tomato paste
1 T olive oil
6 whole black peppercorns
1 t whole cumin seeds
3 whole cardamom pods
1 small piece of cinnamon stick
salt to taste

Put chicken and water in your soup pot and bring to a boil. For about 2 or 3 min. skim off anyfoam that accumulates on top. Add bulghur and bring to a boil (if you use oats add in the last 1/2 hour of cooking instead). Add the grated tomato and the tomato paste (Note from Yusef's mom: "You want a nice color, but not as red as tomato soup"). Add the olive oil and all spices in a spice ball or wrapped in cheesecloth. Add salt to taste, start with 1/2 tsp. Cook all at a simmer, uncovered, about 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze in just before eating.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Soupruary 19th: Recession Soup

Let's not call this phoning it in, let's just think of it as a challenge to do what I could with what I had on hand. Agreed? (Thanks, I feel better now.)

Location:
My apartment, Cincinnati, Ohio
Attendees:
Taylor, me


Menu:
??? Soup

Entertainment:
See "Attendees"

The Soup:
We tried to come up with a name for this while I was cooking. Por ejemplo:
  • I Refuse to Go to the Store Soup
  • Soup is the Mother of Invention
  • Throw Things in a Pot and Hope It's Better Than He's Just Not That Into You Soup
The one that stuck was Recession Soup.


But I really didn't want to go to the store, and I really did just throw everything I had in a pot.
Things I threw:
celery
shallots
carrot
leek
garlic
vegetable broth
diced tomatoes
spinach
egg
parsley
roasted garlic & herb linguine
tofu
cayenne pepper

It worked fine. We ate it. It was soup. It was extraordinarily filling. Taylor said it was amazing and the best soup I've ever made.

But Taylor might be a liar.

Oh man, good joke.

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Leftover.

Leftover who?

Leftover soup for lunch.

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Soupruary 18th: Black & White

As is totes obvs apropos when serving a two-in-one soup, it's a two-locations-in-one Soupruary!


No lie, y'all: I woke up feeling like Mitch Hedburg this morning (“I'm sick of 'Soup of the Day.' It's time we made a decision. I want to know what 'Soup From Now On' is."). But then I ate and enjoyed marvelous company and I'm back on board, not even begrudgingly. Soupruary ahoy!

Location(s):
(1) Ultrasuede Recording Studio, Cincinnati, Ohio (You, You're Awesome? More like (S)You(p), You're Awesome! Am I right?)

(2) Leslie & Bill's, The Westside, Cincinnati, Ohio This was by far the most grown-up Soupruary we've had (real table! with linens! and place settings! and flowers!); but, when I told Leslie she was fancy, she replied, "No, this is just what happens when you have one of those days when you wear white and people give you stuff."


Attendees:
(1) Brian, Kevin, Yusef (proudly supporting my favorite local artists. Oh, and Brian. I guess.)
(2) Bill, Josh, Leslie, Liam (setting the record for youngest Soupruary participant ever! (okay, so he didn't eat soup, whatever)), me

Menu:
Black & White Soup
Salmon with Mango Salsa
Green Beans and Red Peppers (the last two items deliciously provided by Leslie & Bill)


Entertainment:
Liam, both in and out of his neglectopod, is basically the definition of a doorbell. Or a definition, since I'd have to put my nieces and nephews in that category too.


The Soup:
It may have been as far back as grade school that I had black and white soup. I have a vague recollection that it was a celebratory meal of some sort, maybe after winning a spelling bee? I don't know where it was, or how I ended up ordering it, but it stayed in my mind ever since and I've yet to see it on another menu. I don't remember how it tasted, I just remember loving it. And so, here it is on Soupruary 18th, and I think I still love it.

I mean, seriously. Cheese and beans? What's not to love?

You make these two soups separately and then pour them into the bowl at the same time to create the black and white effect. You could get fancy and drag some toothpicks across the middle to make pretty designs, but I was too excited about eating to worry with such frivolities.

White Cheddar Soup
Adapted from Bon Apetit, October 1999
2 T butter
1/2 large red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size pieces
1/2 large yellow bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size pieces
1/2 large green bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 pint half-and-half
8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
Melt butter in your soup pot over medium heat. Add peppers, onion and garlic and sauté vegetables until tender. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then milk and cream. Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Gradually add cheese a handful at a time while stirring; add more when the last handful has melted and the soup is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Black Bean Soup
Adapted from Bon Apetit, July 2002
2 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 t chopped jalapeño chili with seeds
2 t ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes in juice
2 15-oz cans black beans, undrained
2 c vegetable broth
8 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 T chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in your soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; sauté until vegetables about 6 minutes. Mix in cumin, coriander and jalapeño. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and broth; bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer 3 cups of soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return puree to pot. Simmer soup until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Soupruary 17th: Italian Chicken and Rosemary White Bean

It's a Soupruary Twosday! (Get it? Because I made TWO soups! Oh, man, what a knee-slapper!)


Also of note, you could see all 5 visible planets in the night sky. Not sure what that has to do with soup, but it's interesting!


Location:
Steve & Ris's house, The Westside, Cincinnati, Ohio


Attendees:
Aaron, Kendall, Marisa, Nick, Steve, me



Menu:
Italian Chicken Soup with Toasted Parmesan Gnocchi
Rosemary White Bean Soup
My famous nanner puddin', Girl Scout Cookie edition (just for Aaron)


Entertainment:
Kendall enthusiastically inventing "breakfast soups" and charging me to prepare them
An in-depth discussion of strange but enjoyable smells (live crawdads, anyone?)

The Soup(s):
Let's start with the non-vegetarian option. This chicken soup made me use a whole chicken, which reminded me why I've never attempted a Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not good with things that look like real things. I'm glad I was alone while the chicken negotiations were afoot (foot? yeesh)—I was all screams, squeals and painfully outstretched arms. Basically, whole chickens :: me as rats, spiders and snakes :: everyone but Steve. Note the lack of pictures of the whole chicken in the pot. I was busy freaking out.

But the finished product is so pretty, no? This soup (after the whole chicken fiasco) was really fun for two reasons: 1) egg painting, a brief but joyous affair; and 2) gnocchi! The gnocchi are easy to make and so cute and happy when they bob up to the surface to announce "Hey, y'all! I'm cooked!" They're not just a doorbell though; they tasted quite good and had a delightful dexture. I was pretty nervous about trying this, but seriously—parlay that gnocchi!


Soup commentary included the modifiers "crazy-delicious" and "killer," so I don't think we need to go further in the endorsement realm. One thing I liked about it was it simultaneously had that homey, healing feeling of chicken soup and a dash of "special" with the gnocchi. How many times can I say gnocchi in this post? Gnocchi gnocchi gnocchi. Gnocchi.

Adapted from Alexandra Guarnaschelli for Food Network Magazine
2 medium baking potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 strips bacon, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
2 stalks celery, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
24 pearl onions, peeled
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 4-pound chicken
1 small bunch fresh thyme, tied with string
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
3 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the potatoes until soft, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, brown the bacon over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken, thyme and broth; bring to a simmer and skim any foam that rises to the top. Reduce the heat and barely simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes. Discard the thyme. Remove the chicken and let cool. (I did all this the night before to save time in the final preparation. This had the added bonus of letting a lot of the fat in the broth rise to the top so I could easily skim it today and make the soup a little healthier than it would otherwise have been.)
Pull off the meat and shred into bite-sized pieces; cover and set aside. Season the broth with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes; set aside. Halve the baked potatoes and scoop the flesh into a bowl; mash with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Sift the flour over the potatoes and add the toasted crumbs, parmesan and nutmeg; lightly knead to make a firm dough. Roll into 1/2-inch oval-shaped gnocchi. Bring the soup to a boil and drop in the gnocchi. Cook until they float to the top, 1 to 2 minutes (so cute!); transfer the gnocchi to bowls with a slotted spoon.
Beat the eggs with a fork; use the fork to "paint" ribbons of egg across the soup. Let set, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken meat, parsley, basil and spinach; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup over the gnocchi. Serve with more Parmesan.

***

Now for the vegetarian soup: Rosemary White Bean. The flavor: awesome. Seriously. The texture? Eh, left a bit to be desired. When I make this again, I'll change a few things. 1) I'll use canned beans. There's no reason for this soaking nonsense:


2) I'll reduce the amount of stock. I put in the full prescribed 8 c of stock for this soup, and I'd've preferred it a little thicker. That change is reflected below. I'll definitely make this again; the flavor is deep and decadent and I'm actually sort of craving it as I type. I'm finding that the simplest soups have been my favorite thus far—Soup seems to have a unique ability to allow concentration on one or two flavors and give you an intense vegetable experience. I'm for it.

Adapted from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

1 lb dried white beans
4 c sliced yellow onions
1/4 c olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large branch fresh rosemary
6 c vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
Pour the dried beans into a bowl and cover them by at least an inch with water, then soak overnight.
Heat olive oil in your soup pot over medium-low heat, and cook the onions until they're translucent. Add the garlic and cook another 3 minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer until the beans are soft (30 to 40 minutes). Puree the soup coarsely with an immersion blender, food processor or blender, then season with salt and pepper and serve.