Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Very Veggie Soup

Source: an original

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed (I would increase this next time)
2 cups onions, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme (I would increase both spices to 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 cup white wine
3 cans vegetable broth
4 cups water (would use 2 more cans of broth, but didn't have any on hand)
2 cups barley (quick-cooking)
1 bay leaf
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste (maybe 1/4 cup next time?)
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons red vinegar
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups frozen green beans
Serve with Parmesan cheese

Heat oil over medium heat and add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme, rosemary and cayenne, sauteeing until vegetables are softened, about 5 mintues. Add wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add broth/water and simmer vegetables until quite soft, about 10 minutes (you can skip this part if you don't plan to puree these vegetables). Using an immersion blender, puree veggie and broth mixture.

Add tomatoes, barley and bay leaf to the vegetable mixture and simmer until barley is cooked, about 10 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and simmer about 10 minutes more.

My notes: I have a taste in my mind that I would like to achieve, but this wasn't quite it. It was very good, but there's something missing. Next time, I'd like to try adding more wine and more garlic, along with a few adjustments in the cooking procedure.

I puree the onion, celery and carrots because I don't particularly like biting into these when I'm eating soup and because it slightly thickens the broth. However, I would try pureeing in the blender next time to achieve a smoother consistency.

The tomato paste adds a bit of color and mellowness that I liked. The cayenne gives it just a hint of bite without being spicy.

This needs some work to elevate it to what I'm imagining in my mind. Fresh veggies would probably improve the flavor a bit, but it's not the time of year for that, so frozen is a nice alternative. And, it was easy to put together and very healthful.

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