I know soup is considered a cold weather meal but I have so many lovely vegetables from my garden and the farmer’s markets in town. It’s hard to resist sneaking in a batch of soup while the vegetables are freshly picked and begging attention from the drawers of my fridge. And one can just eat so many salads. Time for a quick fix of soup!
I had some frozen ham broth from Easter that would make a good base for what would be a vegetable soup. So it wasn’t a strictly vegetarian soup, but could have been if I’d used a vegetable broth. I did a Rachael Ray, pulling a big armload of ingredients from my fridge in one trip. I pulled another armload from the cupboard shelves and I was ready to make my garden soup.
Chopping onions and several ribs of celery, I put them into a soup pot with a drizzle of olive oil. They sautéed away for a few minute until the celery and onions were translucent.
I added sliced carrots and chopped cabbage and was ready to add some fresh garden herbs.
I chopped some fresh rosemary and thyme and added it to the soup pot. From the spice cabinets I added oregano and marjoram. I tossed in 2 bay leaves and a teaspoon of minced garlic and a good pinch of red pepper flakes, stirring well then let the vegetables cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
I added the ham broth and white beans to the soup pot and let it cook, uncovered, until the carrots were fork tender, roughly 20 minutes.
The tomatoes and kale were washed and chopped and ready to add to the soup. I stirred the soup well and let it simmer until the kale was wilted and the tomatoes had softened, about 10 minutes. I didn’t want the tomatoes to be mushy, I wanted them to still have some texture.
I taste tested the soup for seasoning, adding salt and pepper and the soup was ready for dinner. I served it with those amazing cornbread muffins I mentioned a few weeks ago that were a recipe from my brother, Glenn. I’ll post them next.
The soup was rich with vegetable flavor and we loved it. It was all the better knowing the vegetables were from our garden and other local gardens. And it was easily assembled and made, a bonus.
Now I just need recipes to use green beans, beets, zucchini and beet greens. And a whole lot of cherry tomatoes.
Garden White Bean Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion; diced
4 ribs celery; chopped
2 cups carrots; sliced
3-4 cups cabbage; chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic; minced
2 bay leaves
good pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
32 ounces broth of choice (I used ham broth)
2 cans cannellini beans; drained and rinsed
4 cups packed kale; chopped
4-6 Roma tomatoes; skin removed and diced (blanch in boiling water 2 minutes to remove skins)
In a soup pot, sauté onions and celery in a good drizzle of olive oil until onion is translucent.
Add carrots, cabbage and seasonings and sauté a few minutes to release their flavors.
Pour ham broth then add beans and cabbage to the pot. Let the soup pot simmer, loosely covered, on medium low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the carrots and cabbage are fork tender.
Add the kale and tomatoes to the soup and simmer another 10 minutes covered, or until the kale is wilted and the tomatoes are softened but still hold their shape.
Taste test of seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.