Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dinner 10/08

Tuscan White Bean Soup
(fennel, onion, celery, carrot, great northern beans, tomatoes, fennel stock, herbs de provence, salt and pepper)

Frito Misto
(Stuffed Squash Blossoms -- soy cream cheese and chives, with a rice flour batter and Onion Rings)

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Roasted Garlic w/ Bread

* what better on a cold, rainy October evening... garlic, potatoes, squash blossoms and bread. ;)

UPDATE: Larry asked for the recipe, so here's what we can remember from last night...

The secret is the fennel stock, but veg stock will work fine as well. Otherwise, it's pretty straight ahead:

Start with the fennel stock -- We usually make this when we get the fennel home from the market as it makes the prep go much faster when we want to make soup, and also makes the fennel easier to store in the fridge ;)

Fennel Stock

1 fennel bulb (tops only, save bulb for the soup)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ground fennel seeds (optional)
8 cups of water

In a large soup/stock pot, add the roughly chopped the fennel tops (and the ground fennel seeds if using) and saute with 1 tsp of olive oil for a few minutes until the tops are wilted. If you're making the stock and then the soup, use the carrot peelings and onion skins from the soup prep and throw them in too. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil, reduced the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for few minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve. If not using immediately, let come to room temp and refrigerate.

it's not at all salty at this point, but that's what you want.. you can always add it when the soup is being seasoned...

Tuscan White Bean Soup

3 tbs olive oil
1 fennel bulb diced
1 medium onion diced
2 carrots sliced
2 celery stalks diced
1 tbs garlic chopped
1 tsp herbs de provence (or rosemary and/or thyme)
1 bay leaf
2 cups of cooked Great Northern Beans
1 cup chopped tomatoes
6 cups Fennel Stock (or vegetable stock)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a soup/stock pot over medium heat and saute the fennel, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herbs de provence, bay leaf, salt and pepper about 5-7 minutes until softened. Add the beans and tomatoes, cook an additional 3-4 minutes. Add the fennel stock (or veg stock) and bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Check for salt and adjust if neccessary.

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