Tuesday, March 22, 2011

0 Recipe #254: Tomato-Basil Soup with Swiss Chard, Kale, & Baby Spinach

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I'll be leaving very soon for a trip to visit my parents very shortly, but somehow still managed to finish typing up a final recipe before my departure. :) I created & prepared this soup recipe yesterday, then ate a bowl for dinner that night, and froze the rest. (Soups like these, i.e., ones that are primarily all vegetables, freeze really well.)

It's a fairly last minute trip, so, for the past few days, I've been making a concerted effort to use up all of the perishables in my fridge. This soup is one of the recipes I created in order to accomplish this feat. ;) Enjoy!

Tomato-Basil Soup with Swiss Chard, Kale, & Baby Spinach

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 c. leeks (white parts only), finely minced
1/2 c. shallots (3 large shallots)
1 large fresh bay leaf
1/4 c. dry vermouth
12 c. water
3 c. vine-ripened tomatoes, diced (about 4 large tomatoes)
½ c. tomato paste (almost a whole 6 oz. can)
4 c. fresh, uncooked Swiss chard, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 c. fresh, uncooked kale, cut up into bite-sized pieces
1 c. fresh, uncooked baby spinach leaves
1 c. fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 c. fresh marjoram leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 c. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, finely minced
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
3/8-1/2 c. (6-8 Tbsp.) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded (or 1 Tbsp. per person)

Directions: In a large 6-8 qt. pot, heat olive oil until shimmering. Then sauté leeks, shallots, & bay leaf for 5 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Deglaze with vermouth, reducing a thin layer on the bottom of the pot. Add 12 c. water, and bring to a rolling boil, covering with a lid to boil faster. Open, add tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine & distribute the tomato paste, cover, and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Then reduce heat to low, remove lid, add greens & all herbs, then cover again, and simmer for 5-6 more minutes. Remove from heat, uncover, & allow to cool for 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf, garnish each bowl with about 1 Tbsp. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and serve immediately.

Yield: About 4 qts., or 6-8 servings (of 2 c. per person).

Variations: Can also add pasta, potatoes, &/or cannellini beans, if desired. To make this recipe vegan, simply omit the cheese, or use a non-dairy cheese substitute like soy cheese, etc.

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