Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Minnesotan Midsummer Minestrone
Right around 2 or 3pm everyday my mind begins to wander. My eyes drift out over the beautiful vista of the Stone arch bridge and the Mississippi River. The occasional eagle soars overhead. Segway tours, joggers and bikers meander on the paths below. And I day dream...
About what to make for dinner.
It never fails really. Shortly after lunch, my stomach begins to gurgle again as my mind turns to food. Recently the thoughts circle around how to use up the last bit of vegetables before our next CSA box arrives (time to start blanching, bagging and freezing some of those veggies). Stir frys and salads are quick, easy and reliable.
But this evening I had soup on the brain...
the recipe is my own
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 medium carrots, diced
4-5 garlic scapes, cut in to 1 inch lengths
1 bunch salad turnips and greens, turnips diced, greens chopped
2 Tbsp fresh sage, cut chiffonade
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 - 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
4 cups vegetable, chicken or beef stock
2 cups water
1 - 14 oz can black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup kettle, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, onions and carrots. Saute until the onion and celery are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the garlic scapes, herbs, and turnips (reserve the greens for later) and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the turnips and carrots are tender. Add the beans, simmering for 10 minutes until the beans are heated through. Add the reserved turnip greens. Stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
What a wonderful, deep flavor. The onion, celery and stewed tomatoes provided a base that was refreshingly familiar. The sage was nearly indiscernible among the other veggie flavors. The turnips added a wonderful oomph and were cooked to near perfection...tender with just a touch of bite left. The garlic scapes cooked down and little more than I would have liked during a 20 minutes simmer, but lent an amazing hint of garlic. I adore minestrone. Mostly because any veggie combination would work. Want pasta? okay. Don't like beans? Leave them out. Well this may not be the best soup for a sweltering summer day (but really what soup is when the heat index break 100), but it really does hit the spot.