Blooming Glen Farm | soup
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soup Tag

Minestrone means “big soup” in Italian: a big soup of many vegetables. A tasty soffritto (a base of aromatic vegetables) made of celery, onion and herbs gives this soup a rich base and fall favorites like butternut squash and kale make it healthy and hearty. Traditionally, either white beans or pasta are thrown in at the end. In this version I decided to use both to make the soup a complete meal-in-a-bowl! As the season progresses you can also make a “winter” version of this using turnips, potatoes and cabbage in place of the squash and kale.

This recipe was an adaptation of Alice Water’s recipe from her book, The Art of Simple Food.


Fall Minestrone

If you are planning on making this with beans, I first suggest soaking 1 cup dried cannellini beans in plenty of water (beans will swell) overnight so they cook quickly and retain a nice texture.

The next day when you are ready to make your soup…

-Strain beans and place in large pot with fresh water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender but not mushy. About 15-20 minutes. Strain cooked beans but keep the liquid for later.

-Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat and add 1 large onion, finely chopped and 3 stalks of celery, chopped. Saute until a rich golden brown color.

-Throw into soffritto:
1 bunch of kale or chard, roughly chopped
1 leek, diced
5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of salt

-Cook for 5 more minutes until kale is wilted a bit

-Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn to medium-low heat and cook everything for 15 minutes with the lid on.

-Add 2 cups of butternut squash (about 1 small squash or 1/2 a large one) that has been peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes. Cook for 15 more minutes. Taste for salt and add more if necessary.

-Add the cooked beans along with 2 cups of the bean cooking liquid and 1 cup of dried pasta (optional). Cook for 8 more minutes until pasta is tender. If  soup is too thick, add more bean cooking liquid. Remove the bay leaf.

-Serve in bowls, each garnished with some extra-virgin olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese.

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

This comforting soup is a classic from Southern Italy better known to most as Italian Wedding Soup. I couldn’t help deviating a bit from the standard recipe. My version is a little less brothy with the addition of fresh tomato and a bit more orzo to make it a more satisfying meal. This is also a great way to showcase that escarole you may not know what to do with. You can also use swiss chard or kale as a substitute if you prefer.

Escarole and Orzo Soup with Meatballs

-Make meatballs by combining in a large bowl:

1 pound of ground beef (or turkey, pork or veal if you prefer)
1/4 cup of plain breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/2 white onion, grated (set other half aside for later)
a handful of fresh parsley
1/4 cup of fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

-Form small bite-size meatballs (about the size of large grapes) and then place on a plate in the fridge to chill for a half hour. **I only used about 3/4 of the mixture and froze the rest for later use.

-In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and dice the other half of the onion and 2 medium carrots. Saute until onions are translucent.

-Add 8 cups of veggie or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of orzo and 1 cup fresh, chopped tomato. Simmer for 8 minutes.

-Gently add in the meatballs and simmer for another 10 minutes.

-Rough chop 4 cups of escarole and add to the soup. Cook for 5  more minutes at a simmer.

-Add more stock or water to get the consistency you want. Salt and pepper to taste.

-Garnish with a little Parmesean cheese and ENJOY!

**Serves 4 as a main dish. Can be cooked ahead of time and reheated before serving.

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

With the cooler days and nights of late summer, I find that instead of craving quickly cooked meals and cold salads, I have been turning to more warm, comforting dishes. The appearance of soups and stews on the table is a delightful reminder of the fast approaching fall season!

Tomato soup is that perfect transitional late-summer meal. Alongside a good grilled cheese, you can’t match the freshness and comfort of this classic dish. My recipe uses whole milk for creaminess (not as heavy as those recipes that call for cream), roasted garlic and sweet peppers to add a depth of flavor, and a topping of balsamic vinegar and fresh corn for some sweetness.

Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Sweet Peppers

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees

-Quarter approximately 3 pounds of red tomatoes and place on baking sheet with 4 or 5 (about 3/4 of a pound) of sweet peppers, seeded and diced, and 5 or 6 unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast in oven for 20 minutes or so until veggies are tender.

-Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and saute 1 white onion until translucent. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of tomato paste.

-Pour 4 cups of chicken or veggie stock over onions and bring to boil. Then turn down to a medium-low heat.

-Dump roasted veggies into pot with stock and onions, making sure to remove garlic skins beforehand. Puree with an immersion blender. **If you don’t have one of these you can simply put the mixture into a blender, food processor or food mill.

-Add in 1 cup of whole milk (or half a cup of heavy cream if you prefer) and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

-Let cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes to let flavors meld. Stirring occasionally.

-Top with a splash more of balsamic and some fresh, sweet corn. Serve along side your favorite version of grilled cheese. ENJOY!

Recipe and photos by Jana Smart- Blooming Glen Farm employee and frequent creator of creative recipes using farm fresh seasonal ingredients. Check out more of her recipes on her food blog http://www.agrarianeats.blogspot.com/

Are you anxious for some fresh local spring greens? Take a walk by a creek this time of year, and you’re likely to see the bright fuzzy green of stinging nettles peeking throught the damp soil. Nettles are chock full of calcium and rich in many minerals our bodies are craving after a long winter. But be wary when harvesting- they aren’t called stinging nettles for nothing! They must be steamed or cooked to deactivate the sting. Perfect for spring tonic soup!

Nettle and Chickweed Soup

-Begin by sauteing in 2-3 tbs of butter:
1 bunch of leeks, cleaned and chopped (or substitute onions)

2 carrots, grated
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

-Cover with 2 quarts chicken broth (or water) and bring to a simmer.
-Add 1 cup oat flakes or 1 cup diced potatoes, stir and cover.

While broth is simmering, gather a pair of scissors and a colander or bowl and harvest your greens. You will need 1 large colander of spring nettle tops and 1 large handful of young dandelion greens, or other assorted wild greens: a few small violet leaves, chickweed, garlic grass, garlic mustard greens, dock greens, etc. (We used chickweed.) To avoid the inevitable ‘sting’ of the stinging nettles, snip the tops off with the scissors and allow them to drop right into the colander (Or wear gloves). Use the scissors to cut the tops into smaller pieces while they are still in the colander. If the greens are muddy be sure to rinse them off under cool water.

-The nettles can be dropped right into the soup pot.
-Chop and add other greens to the soup. Let simmer until the greens are very limp but serve while they are still vibrant in color.
-For a bit of lovely creaminess, add a little splash of heavy cream immediately before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Susan Hess of Farm at Coventry. Susan is teaching a number of classes here at Blooming Glen Farm this season. Check out the calendar on our website for more details.