Sunday, November 13, 2011

Canned Soup

On chilly nights filled with anxiety, sometimes the best medicine is a steaming bowl of delicious  homemade vegetable soup. Unfortunately, the only thing chilly about Harry's anxious nights at the Dursley's was the soup. And it certainly was not delicious:

"The cat-flap rattled and Aunt Petunia's hand appeared, pushing a bowl of canned soup into the room. Harry, whose insides were aching with hunger, jumped off his bed and seized it. The soup was stone cold, but he drank half of it in one gulp. Then he crossed the room to Hedwig's cage and tipped the soggy vegetables at the bottom of the bowl into her empty food tray" (Chamber of Secrets 22).

It would be easy to tell you to simply open up a can of veggie soup. That would certainly recreate the effect of Aunt Petunia's catering to Harry! But today we will attempt a recipe for Jamie Oliver's "Cup of Garden" Soup that I found in a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine while sitting at a car dealership earlier this year. I've been meaning to try it out for months, so this is the perfect opportunity!

You Will Need:
1 Tbs olive oil
2 stripes bacon, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1 small leek, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 14oz cans chopped plum tomatoes
1 large potato, diced (I skipped the potato)
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 15.5oz can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
4 cups vegetable broth
large handful kale, chopped
1/2 cup small pasta
salt and pepper
small bunch fresh basil
5 Tbs parmesan

1. Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the bacon (I forgot to buy veggie bacon... so there's no bacon in my soup).
2. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, leeks, oregano, and bay leaf. Slowly cook for 15 minutes until softened.

3. Add the cans of tomato, the potato, cauliflower, chickpeas, and broth.

4. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer about 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
5. Add 2 cups of water and return to a boil.
6. Once boiling, and the kale and pasta, and cook for 10 minutes until the pasta is al dente.

7. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the basil and cheese.
Makes 8 servings (which, according to the magazine, each have 245 calories, in case you care)

Yummy!!! This soup is super delicious! And nutritious! Even without the bacon or potato, it is excellent. I highly recommend making it at your earliest convenience!

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