The air is cooler now. It readies me for Sunday afternoons spent cooking up a pot of something, the aroma filling the apartment, heaven.
I was casting about for a new vegetable soup recipe when, as luck would have it, Mark Bittman appeared on the Today Show with what he claims is The best vegetable soup ever, no kidding. I’ve included the recipe below. He also prepared a chunky Roasted butternut chowder with apple and bacon. Both recipes are from Bittman’s new tome, “The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living.”
Like the Tuscan Ribollita that I posted back in March, these soups are not merely a starter, they’re a meal. Do as Mark Bittman suggests in the segment, add a hunk of good, crusty bread and a glass a fruity red wine, and call it dinner.
Recipe: The best vegetable soup ever, no kidding
Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist and author of “The Food Matters Cookbook”
- 3/4 cup olive oil, more or less
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch parsley, washed and chopped, thick stems discarded
- 2 or 3 cabbage leaves, chopped
- 1 bunch chard, preferably white, washed and chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 3 to 4 cups cooked white beans, like cannelloni, with their liquid if possible
Put about a third of the olive oil in the bottom of a deep pot and turn the heat to medium.
Add half the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, which takes about 10 minutes.
Add about half of the remaining oil and repeat the process, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.
Add the remaining oil with the parsley, cabbage and chard and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is softened but not browned.
Add the tomato paste and stir.
Mash the beans so that they’re about half mashed and half more-or-less whole. Add this mixture to the pot, along with any bean cooking liquid and enough water to make the whole mixture stewy but not watery.
Continue cooking, tasting and adjusting the seasoning as necessary, until all the vegetables are very tender and the soup is hot. Serve hot or warm.
Makes about 10 servings