|Bean and Cabbage Soup |
(Slightly tweaked from the original recipe - Mario Batali's Tuscan Cabbage and Bean Soup)
I got the recipe for this soup from Mario Batali's book 'Molto Italiano' and tweaked it to whatever I had on hand at home. It's a warm winter vegetable soup, made with cabbages and other vegetables, a few spices and cannellini beans. I've always wanted to make a hearty soup with as few spices as possible - something with restaurant quality - and I've never had on hand stock - chicken or veggie - neither would I want to make one from scratch (no time to do it). Which is why the combination of mild spices, tomato paste, greens and leek worked to make this soup delicious and healthy.
To get the original soup recipe, please pick up the Mario Batali book from your library.
If you'd like my version of it, read on.
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped spinach
1 can ready-cooked cannellini beans
1 yellow onion chopped (not too fine but small pieces)
1 leek chopped (same as the onion)
1 garlic pod sliced thinly
1 bay leaf
2 medium sized carrots sliced into circles
2 small potatoes chopped into cubes
1/2 teaspoon paprika or pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground roasted coriander seeds
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 pinches Italian seasoning (mix of dried herbs)
Finely shredded parmesan as topping
Add olive oil to a stock pot and heat it for a while (should not smoke). Add the onion, leek, carrots, potatoes, garlic, bay leaf, Italian seasoning and stir together. Leave it to cook for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add cabbage and spinach and combine. Add paprika/pepper, ground coriander and combine. Let it cook on medium heat until the leafy veggies wilt (I added very little water) - it should take around 10 minutes. Add the salt, tomato paste and let it mix well. Let it cook together for a few minutes.
Add the cannellini beans and water to the mixture, until the level of the water is about a few inches over the mixture (the soup can be as thick or thin as you like). Increase the heat until the soup boils. Reduce heat to medium to let the soup simmer for around 45 minutes.
Once done, remove from heat, pour into soup bowls and enjoy with a topping of shredded parmesan. Or a dollop of creme fraiche!
Serves: 4 people