Thursday, October 30, 2014

Provencal Vegetable Soup

I prepared this recipe a few days ago and it quite simply is delicious. The recipe appears in my most often used book by Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table.

The recipe is very different from most vegetable soups. Most often I will make my own vegetable soup and always with a tomato base and usually I add beef. With this recipe you really taste the vegetables using the freshest ingredients and I loved the use of so many fresh herbs from my garden. This would not be the time to use frozen or canned veggies with the exception of the cannellini beans.

It smelled heavenly as it cooked.
Provencal Vegetable Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, split, germ removed, and finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
6 cups vegetable broth, chicken broth, or water
3 parsley sprigs
2 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
2 slender carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/3 cup small pasta (elbow, fusilli, or mini penne)
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
1 cup rinsed canned chickpeas or cannellini beans (or 1/2 cup dried beans soaked in water for 1 hour)
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch half-moons
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes, or a handful of cherry tomatoes, cut into cubes (no need to peel or seed)
1 ear fresh corn, husked and kernels sliced off
Basil Pesto, to finish
Extra-virgin olive oil, to finish
12 fresh basil leaves, torn or cut into shreds
Grated or shaved Parmesan, for serving
Pour the olive oil into a large casserole- a stockpot or a Dutch oven that holds at least 5 quarts-and warm it over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, season fairly generously with salt (about 3/4 teaspoon), and white pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon), lower the heat, and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add the broth or water and herbs and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in the carrots and potato and cook for 10 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the beans (green and canned) and zucchini and cook for 10 minutes more. (This is not a soup in which any of the vegetables should be crunchy.) Finally, add the tomatoes and corn kernels and cook for 3 minutes.
Finish the soup with some pesto, drizzle with a little olive oil, and scatter the basil over the top. Top with Parmesan, or pass the cheese at the table.
Cutting up all the vegetables was a little time consuming but well worth the effort. I used chicken stock, canned cannellini beans, and cherry tomatoes. All the fresh herbs I tied in a little bundle with kitchen twine. Most of the herbs just melded into the soup but it was easier finding the stems and bay leaf.
This now will be my go to recipe for a very hearty Vegetable Soup, it is excellent.
This year I failed to share on my blog some of my Halloween decorations. I don't have too many since I do more of a Fall decorating but the past couple of years I have collected some really special Halloween decorations. I will share them now.
Part of a larger Lizzie High collection. My grand daughters just love these.
Welcoming my back door friends.
To welcome my trick o treater's and the container that holds my treats.
 A couple of ghouls to terrorize in the dining room.


And my friendly little kitchen witch.
I hope you will try this outstanding soup, Provencal Vegetable Soup. It would make a good dinner for Halloween evening.
It's Friday and I am sharing this post at Foodie Friday hosted by Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm. To see other amazing recipes shared click HERE.
Thank you so much for dropping by my blog and please do come again.