Every Italian Nonna knows this recipe by heart. I assure you this marvelous vegetable and white bean soup is a crowd-pleaser, freezes well, and nourishes the body. It is the perfect antidote for Thanksgiving recovery and preparation for the Christmas season. In that spirit, I gift you with a poem by one of my favorite poets, Ann Weems, from her collection, Kneeling in Bethlehem. Like never before, I am so full of anticipation and hope for what this Christmas will bring for all of us!
Into this silent night
as we make our weary way
we know not where,
just when the night becomes its darkest
and we cannot see our path,
is when the angels rush in,
their hands full of stars.
- 1 extra large yellow onion, diced
- 2 leeks, washed and trimmed
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1 bulb fennel, chopped
- 2 cups diced celery
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp red pepper
- good olive oil
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
- Kosher salt & ground pepper
- 1 parmesan rind
- 2 (28 oz) cans whole tomatoes
- 12-14 cups vegetable* or chicken stock
- 1 cup French Le Puy lentils
- 4-5 cups coarsely chopped kale
- 1 cup shredded Savoy cabbage
- 1 or 2 cans cannellini beans
- 2 cups sour dough bread cubes, no hard crusts
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup grated parmesan plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
In a soup pot, sauté your mirepoix of onion, leeks, carrots, celery, and fennel with generous olive oil, Herbs de Provence, and salt and pepper until soft.
Add Parmesan rind, tomatoes, stock, and lentils.
Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Once the lentils are soft, toss in your greens. Turn off heat and stir
Blend half the white beans with a little stock and a swirl of olive oil, then fold into the soup with remaining beans.
Stir in your cubes of sourdough; or, if you prefer, top soup with homemade sourdough croutons.
Pour in shredded parmesan and stir.
Use more cheese and basil to garnish the soup. Salt and pepper for taste.
The soup gets even better the next day! Accompany with a simple green salad (arugula) with shavings of Parmesan (use a vegetable peeler), olive oil, juice from 1 lemon and kosher salt. Don't forget the crusty bread and dishes of olive oil for dipping.
Combine 2 large carrots, celery, leeks, onion, bay leaf, Parmesan rind, Herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper with water in pot and allow to simmer for at least and hour.
Add water as it boils down. Strain rind and vegetables, and either use or freeze liquid.
May our lives reflect the Truth:
Hope is real
Healing is possible
Life is a privilege
We exist for a purpose
Grace is available
God has us.
Roze Pony is a new cafe in Nashville with a European feel. After a week of cooking, treat yourself to a meal out! They are super safe-conscious and the food for breakfast, lunch and dinner is a treat! I especially love their Chicken Paillard salad and Lavender scones!