Sometimes you just want to sit cross-legged on the couch and eat a big bowl of hot soup. Something simple, comforting, hot. Something good. You need a homemade bowl of soup and you don’t want to go to much fuss to get it. Ever feel like that?
Here’s an easy one that can be made almost anytime as long as you have some vegetables and a quart of store-bought chicken broth in the house. I like to use potatoes and one or two green vegetables. Late summer and fall it might be spinach and green beans. Today I’d probably lean toward chard or kale and broccoli. The best part of this soup might be the pesto (or pistou) like garnish and the fluffy snowfall of Parmesan cheese.
Easy Green Minestrone
serves 2 to 3
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 quart chicken broth
3 or 4 small waxy potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
2-3 cups of any one of two of the following: trimmed green beans, broccoli florets, kale, chard or escarole (cut into ribbons)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic along with a little salt and sauté, stirring, until vegetables are soft and fragrant (about 10 minutes).
Add the chicken broth and the potatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 20 minutes) Add the green vegetables and salt and pepper to taste and simmer until vegetables are the desired doneness.
While the soup simmers, make the pesto/pistou:
I usually use parsley, but sometimes I combine it with other herbs (basil, marjoram, cilantro and sometimes even arugula).
1 cup washed and dried Italian parsley leaves (or a mixture of parsley and whatever you want to use)
1 clove garlic
Salt to taste
Pound the herbs, garlic and salt together in a mortar with a pestle until finely chopped. Add olive oil to desired consistency. You may also use the small bowl of your food processor.
Serve the soup hot with a generous dollop of the green sauce on top and a flurry of good Parmesan cheese