Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hello, Beautiful!

Alas, I don't have a picture of this one.  It was impromptu, and wasn't actually made to be eaten immediately.  It was made to keep me awake and on my feet during a migraine that I refused to let win.  It worked.  And, oh, what a good way to beat a migraine.  The smells...just lovely.  Had it for lunch today.  Trust me, this one is greater than the simple sum of its parts.

 Autumn Minestrone
by Me

2 tbsp olive oil
1 c chopped onion
2 tsp chopped garlic
hefty pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 c chopped celery
2 cups cubed, peeled rutabaga
1-2 cups chopped carrot (I went with more)
6 thyme sprigs
1-2 tsp chopped sage (some people find this one too strong, so maybe err on the side of caution)
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup vermouth
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
rind of a piece of parmigiano (you could leave this out...but don't)
4-5 cups thinly sliced kale or other sturdy green
1 peeled, diced delicata squash, about 3 cups (could use butternut)

1.  Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion through bay leaf.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until vegetables start to get tender.  (For a deeper flavor, turn the heat up to medium-high and let the vegetables brown a little bit before step two.)

2.  Add the vermouth; cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the pan.  When it is almost evaporated/absorbed, add the broth and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add the kale and parmigiano.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3.  Add the squash, simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender but not mushy.  Fish out the thyme stems and bay leaf, and serve.

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