The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’re hungry again.
Farmstand to table anyone? In keeping with my “on the menu this week” plan I have decided that I need a break here and there while not sacrificing a great dinner plan practically every night of the week especially when we have beautiful weather (not today) so for not I have committed to a loose plan of soup at least once a week seasonal or not and another night dedicated to a fabulous dinner salad.
Last week we enjoyed a wonderful roasted tomato soup on Monday using one of my two Instant Pots for an even easier night in the kitchen if not just being downright lazy…15-20 minutes is pretty good for a fabulous bowl of soup. Yesterday, Monday was another fabulous bowl of soup goodness, but mind you the list is long with plenty of prep work…think of it as good cooking therapy and let the Instant Pot work its magic.
Again, a long list, but it is very adaptable to any kind of vegetables that you may have on hand, but the greens of some kind are a necessary ingredient if not two or more kinds.
A few basics from the pantry, herb garden, vegetable bin, and farm stand are the generous ingredients and while on the mellow side of flavor, for the most part, leaving the herbs, spices, fennel, leeks, and hearty stock to do the job…oh, and that cheese rind adds amazing flavor.
I suggest that you can use a regular soup or stockpot, sauté as below add everything to the pot except water for a few minutes stir until the greens shrink down a bit and then add the water…dodon’t forget the stock pods. Bring to a boil, turn to a low simmer and simmer away 30+ minutes until veggies soften.
My pile of vegetables:
That wilted sorry-looking fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 celery heart with 4 ribs of celery and leaves
6 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
2 leeks trimmed, white parts only quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 of a head of cauliflower broken into florets
2 yellow squash quartered and cut into 1/2 or so chunks…you can remove the strip of seeds if you like
2 zucchini, quartered and cut the same as the squash
1 bunch cleaned, trimmed, stemmed and roughly chopped kale, I found some beautiful dark Lacinato kale
1 small bunch trimmed, stemmed, and torn kale, local Carolina young tender
1 bunch of tender dandelion greens, trimmed and large leaves or small bunch fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and soaked…remove stems
1/2 head of endive or escarole, trimmed, washed, and torn
Herbs, seasonings, and liquids:
3 small sprigs oregano, leaves only
*Optional a few fresh rosemary leaves
A few fresh thyme leaves
sprinkles of red pepper flakes
2 fresh bay leaves (remove from soup before serving)
3 pods of Knorr concentrated chicken or vegetable stock
6-7 cups water, more if needed to thin the soup
1/2 cup white wine (deglaze sautéed vegetables)
Carefully season with salt and pepper especially if you are using the parmesan rind as the cheese adds enough salt for me.
1 parmesan cheese rind -1+1/2 inch piece
3 tablespoons Greek EVOO
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons EVOO to drizzle over finished soup or to individual bowls…just more flavor and tastes great with a dunk of fresh bread…Mike Made Italian 5 grain bread grilled sandwiches, you pick.
1 Instant Pot
I sautéed fennel bulb slices, celery, garlic, leeks trimmed, and red onion for two or so minutes tossed in the garlic for another minute. Add all of the seasonings, herbs, and liquids save for maybe 3 tablespoons of EVOO that is meant for the finished pot of soup at serving time…Set IP soup setting, for 15 minutes, closed valve, natural release and keep warm until serving time.
Drizzle soup with EVOO or reserve for each guest to add their own amount of oil to the finished soup…