Glenna at A Fridge Full of Food But Nothing To Eat posted yesterday on how she enjoys using Cook's Illustrated The New Best Recipe Cookbook. I received a copy of another of their cookbooks, The Best Of America's Test Kitchen, a few months ago and have made several recipes from it already, including meat loaf. On Monday, I made a vegetable soup recipe from the cookbook. It was fairly simple to make, which was a good thing, as my eyes were still quite inflamed from the conjunctivitis. Both Bob and I enjoyed the soup, which was very filling and served as our main meal. The broth has a nice creamy texture, due to pureeing part of the vegetables in the soup along with two slices of bread. It also benefits from thyme, rosemary and bay leaf, which makes it an ideal dish for Weekend Herb Blogging, the brainchild of Kalyn, of Kalyn's Kitchen, but hosted this week by Ed at Tomato. Head over to his site and check out the herby happenings.
The thyme, rosemary and bay leaf all worked together to give the soup a wonderful flavor, but I chose thyme as my herb of choice. I'm quite fond of thyme. Last year, I planted common thyme in my garden and it's flourished there. Common thyme is a Mediterranean perennial and is used in this area for ornamental, as well as a culinary purposes. It's very hardy and tolerates drought and heat.
In the early stages, the soup has a thin broth and lots of vegetables. In fact, it may seem like there are too many vegetables. But, not to worry. Three cups of those veggies will be blended, along with two slices of bread, to enrich the broth and give it substance.
I haven't used our blender in ages, so it was fun to haul it out of hiding. Bob remembers his family using this blender when he was very young. It's an Osterizer brand and very heavy, made the way they used to make appliances, to last forever. We took custody of this beauty when we were married, eons ago. It will probably outlast us.
Hearty Vegetable Soup (The Best of America's Test Kitchen)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 small onions peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium russet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, lightly toasted
2 cups spinach, stemmed and chopped
(14.5-ounce) can cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
(10-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans or frozen peas
1. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat until
shimmering. Add carrots, parsnips, and onions and cook until lightly
browned and softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until
fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, potatoes, thyme, rosemary, and
bay leaf and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until
vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
2. Remove and discard rosemary and bay leaf. Transfer 3 cups solids, 1 cup broth, and bread to blender and puree until smooth. Stir puree back into pot, add spinach, cannellini beans, and lima beans and cook over medium heat until spinach is tender and beans are heated through, about 8 minutes.