Thursday, August 4, 2011

Farmers Market Soup

After enjoying afternoon tea at my favourite little gem Lady Mendl's Tea Salon, I went to the farmers market at Union Square with one task: Get eggs....
I left the farmers market with lima beans, eggplant, yellow string beans, garlic, celery, carrots, kale and zucchini. I would have kept on going if the heat wave (100 degrees), high heels and over-sized purse didn't interfere with my shopping.

I went home feeling inspired by the sights, smells and sounds of the market..I wanted the farmers market experience in a pot. And so I began to cook in this vain. What I ended up with was a minestrone of sorts- big chunky lima beans, soft leaves of kale, eggplant, string beans and so much more enveloped in a deliciously rich tomato soup. I topped it with fresh shavings of parmigiano reggiano and called it a day.

2 cans crushed tomatoes in basil
1 Italian eggplant, cut into small cubes
2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1/2 pound string beans
2 small zucchini cut into 1/2 inch half or full moons
1 medium size onion finely diced
1 cup pastini
1/2 pound fresh lima beans, shelled from its pod
1 bunch black tuscan kale, cut from its stalk
1 stalk celery cut into 1/2 inch slices
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
10 fresh basil leaves
1 rind of parmigiano reggiano  
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 teaspoons sugar

In a large dutch oven heat olive oil and saute onions until soft and golden. Add the garlic and sweat on low heat until the garlic softens. Add the carrot and celery and cook for three minutes. Add the parm rind and cook two minutes more. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil and 1 cup of water. Reduce and simmer on med-low heat for an hour. Add the dried oregano, basil, one teaspoon sugar and a good amount of salt (about 2 teaspoons). Taste. If it still has a sour taste from the can tomatoes add another half to 1 teaspoon sugar.

Add the pastini and lima beans and cook 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook two minutes. Add the string beans and cook two minutes more. Add the kale and zucchini. Simmer until they've just cooked through. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Serve in a bowl with freshly ripped basil leaves, parm shavings, a good drizzle of top quality extra virgin olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper.

No comments:

Post a Comment