this year the weather has been chilly and no signs of spring seem to be anywhere in sight. this past week we had our first flurries of the year, an ice storm, and tomorrow we have snow in the forecast. winter just doesn't want to let up!
with that being said, I am going to keep making soups to keep us warm through these cold days. this minestrone is a perfect soup to do just that.
-in a large stock pan, saute 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, 1 large diced yellow onion, 3 cloves of diced garlic, 1 large or two small fennel bulbs, sliced and core removed. saute on med-low heat for 20 minutes
-add 5 cups of good quality vegetable stock, (homemade if you got it), 2 cups water, 1 can of white beans, 1 small can of fire roasted tomatoes (14.5 oz), salt to taste, a pinch of pepper, 1 Tbsp of maple syrup or another sweetener. if you have any rinds of parmesan cheese you can add them to the stock for flavor. let simmer for 1 hour to allow the flavors to develop.
-add a handful of sliced greens such as chard, kale, collards, turnip greens, or spinach and also add 1 Tbsp of finely diced fresh parsley.
-lastly, add 1 cup of orzo and allow the pasta to cook for 20 minutes or so. bon appetit!
photo and recipe by kristen bach