Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hearty Italian soup

It's been pouring here non-stop, perfect soup weather. Our original plan for tonight was "mushroom and barley soup," to which we ten decided to add tomatoes and beans for a nice Minestrone-style stew.

Oh, and this recipe is going up immediately, because we forgot to take photos of dinner. I have a hard enough time remembering what we made based on two-month-old pictures, and by the time I get to posting the last few meals (hopefully soon) I won't remember we made tonight's dinner at all.

This is a "quick" soup: no stock. Begin cooking about ninety minutes before dinner, but you'll have at least an hour of simmering when you can go do other things.

Heat a large splash of olive oil at the bottom of your favorite soup pot. Add salt and begin sauteing:
  • 3 spring red onions, cleaned and diced
  • 1 spring garlic, washed, cleaned and diced
  • 1 clove dried garlic, minced
  • 4 small carrots, washed well and diced
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs each rosemary and savory, stems removed and minced
Stirring, let the mire poix saute until the onions are tender. Then add
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1 lb crimini mushrooms, washed and halved
  • a bit more salt
and cook on medium, stirring, until the mushrooms have just begun to wilt. Then add
  • 1 large can tomatoes
  • 1 small can your favorite white beans (we used soy beans, since it's all we had)
  • 2 quarts water
  • yet more salt
Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook covered for at least an hour.

Right before serving, stir in a small splash of vinegar. Sprinkle the bowls with minced parsley, and serve with a crusty bread.

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