Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring minestrone and fresh baguettes

It's always hard to cook for just one person (Kristen comes home soon!), but after eating frozen veggie meatballs and soy mozzarella sandwiches a few too many days in a row, I finally got myself together this week and went to the grocery store. I've been pretty excited seeing all the asparagus people are cooking right now (eating seasonally is relatively new to me -- it seems like it's been a YEAR since I had it).

I turned to another Heidi Swanson recipe, this one from her glorious book, Super Natural Cooking. This Spring Minestrone was really delicious and perfect for a cool afternoon.

  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 diced shallots (I used 1 shallot and half an onion)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 6 cups vegetable broth (we like 2 cubes of Rapunzel bouillon cubes)
  • 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 8 spears asparagus cut into inch long segments
  • 1 cup of sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut
  • 1/2 cup frozen edamame, or snow peas

Heat a little bit of olive oil in a saucepan or large pot. Cook the shallots and garlic for a few minutes until they soften. Add the brown rice and let it toast for about a minute. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer, until the rice is cooked to your liking. Add the asparagus, peas, edamame, and continue simmering for 2-3 minutes until the veggies are just tender. Salt to taste, and top with fresh ground pepper.

A few notes: 3/4 cups makes it pretty heavy on the brown rice, as you can probably see in the picture. I liked it that way, but consider reducing to 1/2 a cup if you want your rice:soup ratio lower. Also go as easy on the oil as possible at the beginning. I found that too much can make the soup a little oily.

I made a couple of quick baguettes following Mark Bittman's recipe (my food processor cannot handle 4 cups of flour though, so I just mix it with a wooden spoon and knead it by hand). They turned out okay, good enough that I wanted to post a picture, not good enough to share any advice on how to make bread. This is another in what is becoming a long series of middling successes

1 comment:

  1. I made the Spring Minestrone for dinner last night. Easy and delicious! I used jumbo asparagus so I split some of the spears and simmered the vegetables for about 10 minutes. I'm having a bowl for lunch today, too!