Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Warm up this winter with this flexible veggie dish

By Helen Klein

I’ve never been a big soup eater, but when the frigid weather descended on Brooklyn earlier this month, I craved a bowl of something warm and cozy. For me, that means a thick base studded with vegetables — lots of good stuff to take the chill away.

Of course, I also craved immediate gratification, so I didn’t want a pot of something that had to simmer for hours to develop its flavor. And a casual riff on one of my go-to recipes, corn chowder, fit the bill perfectly.

To decide what vegetables to include, I simply raided my crisper and found broccoli and pepper, though the former could easily be substituted by cauliflower or acorn squash if that’s what you have. No pepper? No problem. Try a carrot cut into small pieces instead.

If you substitute, do try to use a variety of different colored produce, both because the finished dish looks prettier that way, and because it increases the nutritional diversity of the soup. And if you don’t have or like beans, those can be easily eliminated, but they do add heft, making the soup more of a main dish.

Broccoli and bean chowder
Serves six

3 tbl. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 head broccoli, stems chopped, florets cut small
2 large or 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 15-oz. can cream-style corn
1/2 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat 2 tbl. olive oil in soup pot. When hot, add onion and pepper and sauté over medium-high heat, salting to release liquids inside the vegetables, and stirring frequently till golden and onion is translucent. Add chopped broccoli stems and continue sautéing, adding a little water to the pan if necessary, till broccoli is crisp-tender. Add potato chunks, and water to cover, and boil for 20 minutes, till potatoes are tender.

In the meantime, in a separate small frying pan, heat remaining olive oil, and quickly fry broccoli florets till they are bright green (frying them separately helps maintain their texture and individual flavor).

Add corn, beans and milk and heat to just below boiling.  Stir in broccoli florets. Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste.


Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP