Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sunday Therapy - Session I, Part 2: Soups On!

> bread from scratch
> soup
> baking
Minestrone with White Eyed Peas & Kidney Beans

I like soup, I just don't love it. When I am out, I will almost never choose soup over a salad...if I do it is usually some rich concoction such as chowda, bisque, or cream of anything. Paula Deen would be so proud!

Occasionally I make soups, but there are only 3 types that I do: Kimchi Soup, Rice Cake Soup and Ginseng Chicken Soup...they're all KOREAN! I love each of them for their flavors, health benefits, and most importantly, the childhood memories they bring back.

No soup for you!!!
-The Soup Nazi, Seinfeld, 6th Season

I would never and could never demand of my tasters the excessively strict regimentation of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, or Al Yeganeh, the New York inspiration for the charater. I am not sure if it is my like rather than LOVE for soup that keeps me from trying, or if I am intimidated by the unknown technique/process. Regardless of the reason, winter is just around the corner and my plan is for the soup to be on in our household this year!

For my first stab at soup I decided to follow a second recipe from F&W (November 2009) for Minestrone with Black Eyed Peas & Kidney Beans. [Note: since some crazy bean addict held up my supermarket and took all they had, I improvised and picked up the closest thing I could find to black eyed peas...white eyed peas.]

The Base
In Italy, minestrone is a part of cucina povera ('poor kitchen') cuisine.
F&W calls for prosciutto, so I improvised with 2 slices of smoky bacon from the butcher counter...much cheaper!
Sight- It's absolutely fabulous
Touch -
[S]he's a smooth operator...
Sounds - sssssshhhh, crack, sssshhh
Smell - Mouthwatering!
Taste? - TBD

As the base for the soup cooks, the tempting aromas fill the air...
I love this part!

With the bacon rendered, leeks, celery and onion cooked down, it's now time for the cabbage.
Most often consumed in our household in the form of Kimchi, cabbage is somewhat annually eaten as part of a boiled dinner. Today we add [non-kimchi] soup to the list of its uses!

Now for some color... diced tomatoes, juice and all!

Beans, beans, the magical fruit...
It's starting to resemble soup!

I would have never thought of this, but F&W instructed the al dente pasta be sautéed in a pan, with olive oil...what a brilliant idea!!

Ta - da! It's minestrone!!

Minestra (soup) + -one ---> 'The Big Soup'


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