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January/February 2008
Recipe Archives

Recipes to Warm the Soul

Hearty minestrone soup and bruschetta for a cold winter’s day.

Minestrone Soup

1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
2 large ribs celery, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
½ pound firm potatoes (e.g. red potatoes), peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
2/3 pound cabbage (e.g. green cabbage), cored and cut into ¼-inch dice
2 medium yellow squash, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch dice
½ pound Swiss chard leaves cut into narrow strips, stems cut across into slices
1 small bunch spinach, stemmed, well washed, and cut across into narrow strips
1-2 medium cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely-chopped canned Italian plum tomatoes
¼ to ½ cup pesto
1 cup cooked orzo or small shells
5 teaspoons vegetable bouillon (or boxed vegetable stock)
1 to 2 tablespoons salt
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a medium stockpot, cook 1/3 cup oil and onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. 

Stir in the carrots, celery and potatoes.  Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Stir in the cabbage and squash and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in the greens, the garlic, the tomatoes, 5 cups water, and vegetable bouillon (or vegetable stock).  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente.

Stir in the pasta and heat through.  Stir in the pesto.  Season with the salt and pepper.

The soup can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days, but do not add the orzo until reheating to serve.

If the soup has been refrigerated, reheat it, adding a little water to avoid sticking.  Pass the remaining pesto and grated Parmesan cheese at the table.

Minestrone soup recipe contributed by Christl Keller Carollo, a personal chef who caters to vegetarian, vegan and restricted diets. She can be reached at (248) 990-2018 or ckcarollo@hotmail.com

Simple Bruschetta

1 cup loosely-packed basil leaves
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, seeded
2 cloves of garlic
15 kalamata olives, pitted
3 cups of grated Asiago cheese (optional)
1 large or 2 medium French baguettes
Olive oil

Cut baguettes lengthwise and brush with olive oil.  Cut into 1 – 1 ½ inch thick pieces.

Place basil, garlic, tomatoes and olives in food processor.  Pulse until coarse. (If you do not want to use a food processor, then all the ingredients can be finely chopped with a knife.)  

If using cheese, combine tomato mixture with cheese. 

In either case, place ½ tablespoon of the mixture onto each piece of bread.  Heat under broiler for 3-4 minutes until slightly brown or cheese is melted.

When this dish is made with cheese, it tastes like a pizza-inspired bruschetta.  When made without cheese, it tastes like a cross between olive tapenade and bruschetta.

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