Minestrone D'inverno (Winter Vegetable Soup/Mush)
4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 cups of vegetable broth
3 medium (russet) potatoes, cubed
4 cabbage leaves, chopped bite-size
5 tsp tomato paste
2/3 cup rice (short grain)
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
grated parmesan to taste
Cover the bottom of a stockpot with the oil and cook carrots, onions, and celery until onions are soft. Add the potatoes, cabbage, broth, and tomato paste and cook this slowly for 30 minutes (lowest temperature that keeps a boil of any sort). This will be quite liquid, but one can add boiling water should it start to dry up. After those 30 minutes, add rice and parsley and continue to cook on low heat until rice is cooked. Typically when the rice is cooked one is left with more of a mush than a soup - adjust water if wanting more of a soup, but the mush is fine as is. Add grated parmesan on top as desired.
OTHER OPTIONS: can replace the potatoes and cabbage with peas, tomatoes, and zucchini for a more springtime soup. Leafy vegetables mean less water needed. Can use a parmesan rind from the beginning of cooking phase for added flavor.
Carabaccia...the original French onion soup from Italy?
3 large red onions
2 medium carrots
4 celery stalks
salt and pepper to taste
Italian bread, possibly 3 days old
grated parmesan cheese
Coarsely chop the onions, carrots and celery. Place them in a large pot with abundant olive oil (cover the bottom of the pot and get some heat going first). Add salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook on low heat for about 1 hour. Stir often, but do not add water - the vegetables will produce enough.
After one hour, when the veggies are fragrant, toast 4-6 thick slices of the bread. Quickly dip them in hot water and place one in each soup bowl. Cover the bread with the carabaccia and serve after sprinkling with abundant grated parmesan cheese.
IMPROVEMENTS TO TRY: measure and steadily lower the olive oil while maintaining taste
Thubu wa Jugu (African Bean Soup)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch spinach, coarsely chopped (can add late)
1 cup red yam, peeled and cubed
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 large zucchini, or other squash, sliced
1 medium bell (or red) pepper, chopped
1 cup precooked black beans (or cubed eggplant)
1 cup red lentils (not soaked)
2 tbsp mild curry powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup peanuts, unsalted and roasted (or cashews)
salt to taste
1/4 cup minced cilantro
Sauté onions and garlic in oil in large soup pot until soft. Add vegetables, beans, and lentils and sauté for around 5 minutes. Add curry powder and pepper and just enough water to cover (at most an inch above veggies). Bring to a boil.
Add peanuts and salt, then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 25 minutes. Add cilantro (important to add this late not to lost flavor), stir, and turn off the heat with the pot covered. Allow to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
Serving suggestion: cook and mash plantains or even bananas as a side dish.
Cauliflower and Bread Soup (Zuppa Di Cavolo E Pane)
1 Head Cauliflower with leaves
salt and pepper to taste
4 garlic cloves, peeled
parmesan cheese, grated
Remove the outside leaves of the cauliflower (kale can be a substitute, perhaps) and boil them in a large quantity of salted water in a soupl pot for about 10 minutes. Coarsely chop the cauliflower (or use hands to avoid crumbling) into florets and add them to the pot. When the florets are tender, remove the leaves and the florets, keeping the water they were cooked in. Coarsely chop the leaves so that they are bite-size.
Toast thick slices of the bread (2 or 3 for each person) in the oven, then rub them (both sides) with the peeled garlic cloves. Soak the bread in the water you have kept, and place one slice in each soup bowl.
Sprinkle the bread the salt, pepper, olive oil, and parmesan. Spread a layer of florets and leaves, add some water over it and continue the layers until the soup bowl is full. Also very good the next day left out at room temperature.
Serves 4 or 6.
My Favorite Piroshky Borscht
1/3 of a green cabbage, chopped in small strips (2 cm. long or so)
1 red pepper
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 green pepper
1 tsp-1 tbsp sugar
sauté ingredients (as soon as bubbling, stop - must stay red!):
3 beets, shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1 can diced tomatoes
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp olive oil
sour cream (dollop per bowl or to taste)
Get a pot of water (14 cups) boiling. Throw the potatoes in. 5-7 minutes later, throw in the cabbage. 2-3 minutes later, throw in the sauté mix. Salt and boil this, plus whole red and green peppers. Later, add sugar, pepper, fresh dill and fresh parsley to taste. Serve each bowl with a dollop of sour cream.
2 delicata squashes
leeks chopped finely, many
carrots chopped finely, not many
onions chopped finely, not many
celery chopped finely, not many
hazelnuts or pecans,crushed/roasted
peanut butter (little)
Cook squashes by halving, removing seed innards, then baking at 375F for 30-45 minutes by putting olive oil on a cookie sheet and placing the squashes on it cut-side down. When done, scoop out the innards pure in a blender.
Meanwhile sauté finely chopped carrots, leeks, onions, and celery in oil. Then pure in a blender to desired texture.
In a pot with 2-3 cups water, put in boullion, salt, pepper, and sage to taste. Simmer/cook as long as possible. Add pures at some point, then cook for however long you want. Can add roasted and crushed hazelnuts or pecans, cream, peanut butter...
Ukrainian Soup (Marcela)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large can (20+ oz.) sour kraut
3 heaping tbsp spoons of flour
2 cans kidney/red/white beans
8 cups of water
2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
bread crumbs (~4 slices worth)
3 cubes vegetable boullion
Fry the onion in the oil, then mix altogether and heat.
Mushroom Soup (Marcela)
1/2 onion, chopped
many mushrooms (more dry kind the better)
4 heaping tbsp flour
container whipped cream
Start boiling the potatoes in salt. When nearly done, throw in the mushrooms and vegetable broth. Later, crack the eggs and put in. Aside, mix cream and flour. When potatoes are cooked, add in cream mixure, bring to a boil, then simmer.
(use more tomatoes for more soup!)
10-1000 tomatoes (adjust accordingly)
1-1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
several cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
optional: sour cream
optional: vegebase broth. 1-2 cups worth.
Tomato prep: score the bottom of each tomato, and core out the stem. Skin the 'maters by dipping them into boiling water and removing them when the skin loosens. Cool and remove skins. Cut tomatoes in half to squeeze out the seeds. Then place the maters in a pot and mush them up.
Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until transparent (onions). Put the onion/garlic mush in with the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Then simmer a looooooong time. At some point, throw this in a blender with some sour cream and blend away. Be careful to only blend a little at a time as it may explode. Let this concoction simmer some more and add a handful of chopped basil. Simmer, simmer, simmer to reduce. Then serve, topped with cheddar cheese.
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