Friday, November 5, 2010

Soup's On!

The air is crisp and cool. It's soup weather here in Minnesota. I love making soup for supper. The kitchen feels so cozy as it simmers and bubbles on the stove. Since we've become empty-nesters, we eat all our meals at our little drop-leaf kitchen table. This is really healthy soup that's easy to put together. It was good the day I made it but was really awesome by the second day!
Notes: If you're using imported Parmesan, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, add a piece of the rind to the soup in step 2 for extra flavor. While the soup simmers, brush some slices of country bread with olive oil and toast them, to serve with the hot soup.
6 servings

Spinach and White Bean Soup
Baby spinach (about 1 lb.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 quart chicken broth
2-3 cups water
3 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Italian-diced tomatoes, including juice
About 1/2 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese (see notes)
Salt and fresh-ground pepper
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Pour oil into a 4- to 5-quart pan over medium heat. Add garlic; stir often until soft. Add broth and 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally.
2. Add 1 can drained beans and mash with potato masher. Add remaining beans and can of diced tomatoes. Stir occasionally until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and allow to wilt. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and add basil, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls; offer more Parmesan to add at the table.

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