All posts this week are inspired by Michael Pollan’s new book: Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. He includes four rather involved recipes in the book, which I’ll report back on some day after I try them. One of the overall messages of the book is that there is power and value in cooking for yourself and your family. On this, Pollan and I see eye to eye.
One of my favorite things to cook for my family are nutrient rich soups. This is a little tricky during the 90+ degree days of summer, but I’ve found that a little soup starter at the beginning of the meal is very nourishing, hydrating and eaten quickly because everyone is hungry. I plan to make a pot of soup each week throughout summer for dinner starters and my lunch. It’s also a great way to clear out the veggie bins of things that may be just past their prime.
Recipe: Summer Minestrone
- 2T Olive Oil, Butter or Tallow
- 1 Onion
- 2 chopped Carrots
- 2 chopped Celery Stalks
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 finely chopped Kale or Chard
- 1 small chopped Potato
- 1 chopped Summer Squash
- 1 chopped Bell Pepper
- 15-20oz diced Tomatoes
- 1 fresh sprig Rosemary
- 1 fresh sprig Oregano
- 1 can drained, rinsed Kidney or Cannellini Beans
- 1 cup dry Pasta, I used Orecchiette (optional)
- 1qt organic Beef, Chicken or Veggie Broth
- 2T chopped Italian Parsley
- Splash of Red Wine Vinegar (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- Shredded Parm for topper
- In large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Saute the onion, carrot, celery, garlic with a little salt until the onion is translucent.
- Add potato, bell pepper, and summer squash for two minutes.
- Add kale, tomatoes, rosemary sprig and oregano sprig.
- Add broth and bring to a simmer.
- Add pasta and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove rosemary and oregano sprigs.
- Add beans and Italian parsley.
- Add salt, pepper and a splash of red wine vinegar to taste.
- Top with shredded Parm and serve (not too hot if it is 90+ degrees out!)
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Michael Pollan quotes I Yin, a Chinese chef from 239 B.C. – “The transformation which occurs in the cauldron is quintessential and wondrous, subtle and delicate. The mouth cannot express it in words.”
Love that. Enjoy your cauldrons everyone!