Thursday, October 26, 2006

Kabbalah and Soup

The older I get the more I appreciate the simple pleasure of a good bowl of soup, and when it's shared with a generous helping of good people on the side it's even better. Last night Dana and I had a few peeps from our church over for a soup dinner before heading out to the local independent bookstore to hear an author's reading. Before the book reading, I present the soup recipe which I lifted from Williams-Sonoma SOUP cookbook and altered enough that I feel comfortable calling it my own, unless of course, a legal representative from Simon and Schuster, publisher's of Williams-Sonoma SOUP cookbook calls and then I'll disavow all knowledge of the recipe, this blog and beans in general.

Anita's Too Many Beans for One Pot Soup

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained
3 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can cannelloni beans, drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and yes, go ahead and finely chop away
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
8 cups (64 oz) low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 pound cooked ham, cubed (optional for you vegetarian-types)
1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, and more of that fine chopping
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf

In a soup pot over medium high heat combine olive oil and chopped onions, occasionally stirring until onion has softened slightly. Three minutes should do. Add the carrots and celery to the pot and keep things cooking for three more minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except for the ham (or bacon or turkey or tofu) and the drained cannelloni beans. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour to soften the beans and combine the flavors. Remove from heat. Search out that bay leaf and get it outta there!

Remove half the soup from the pot, puree it in a blender and add it back into the pot. Add the can of cannelloni beans and the ham. Season with salt and white pepper to taste. Serve immediately or transfer to a crockpot for a few hours until dinner.

When serving the soup here are a couple little added treats that can kick it up over the top. Add the zest of one lemon into a container of sour cream and stir. Drop a big dollop of it right onto the top of the soup. And if that's not enough and you're pulling out all stops to impress, add the zest of one lemon and 2 minced garlic gloves to a handful of finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley. This little mixture is called Gremolata in Italian. Toss a sprinkling of it over each serving. As a side note, lemon compliments the earthly flavor of the beans. "Oh Beanie, you're such a hearty and nutritious little fella." "Why thank you for noticing my little citric acid chum!"

Recipe feeds eight normal people or five Phatgirls.

Okay, here's a little bonus I'm going to share just because I like you. The next day heat up your now thick as chili soup leftovers and serve over a shredded bed of lettuce that has a light drizzle of low-fat ranch dressing. Trust me people, this is so good you'll slap your momma. Just be sure it's your momma, not mine.

So after filling up on copyright enfringement soup, rosemary potato bread, and cookies, we headed down the road to hear Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, not to be confused with Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" even though Rabbi Kushner, Lawrence not Harold, said he'd more than happily sign any books by the other Rabbi Kushner as well as his own. Rabbi Kushner, Lawrence not Harold, was reading from his first novel, Kabbalah: A Love Story. He told a few wonderfully engaging stories from his life, read some short selections and concluded with time for Q&A. I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and when he autographed my copy of his book I couldn't help but notice his incredibly elaborate and unique signature. I made a comment about it and Rabbi Kushner, Lawrence not Harold, looked at me, smiled and said, "One day you'll need to sign your name many times as well so you should come up with a really fun signature you enjoy writing. Start practicing."

And so, if you would like an autographed copy of my plagerized soup recipe, please send a five dollar bill and a photocopy of the recipe along with your request in a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Phatgirl, #38530128445
California Correctional Institute for Crockpot Criminals
California, USA

1 comment:

Garden Obsession said...

Hi there, I just wanted to thank you for your awesome blog. I'm training to walk my first half marathon in January (Houston) and it's so nice to see a fellow phat girl going through it with all it's wonderful and awful realities on display. Not only have you inspired me to really try to make it to Portland in 2007, but also to get off my duff and blog about it. I think it's important to share these experiences. Best of luck in your training and "healthy ankle vibes" are coming your way.