Carrie Minn's Soup Night Recipe
Rainy Day Vegetable Soup - Summer Version
On this day, I decided to make the pistou which is just a fancy way of saying I made a type of paste that you dollop on top of your finished vegetable soup for added flavor dimension. Not having a mortal and pestle, I chopped up the basil and garlic. Then, I took the backside of a serving spoon and mashed up the two ingredients on my cutting board. I added the grated cheese to the pile and continued mashing. Then I just drizzled the olive oil on top. Stirred it all together until it was pasty and had everyone serve themselves the pistou straight from the cutting board. Why dirty another dish?
By this time, the "stomach-growling inducing" aroma filled the kitchen. I washed my blackberries. Sliced my peaches. Pulled some cheese out of the fridge to warm-up to room temperature. My buzzer went off. I added the cannellini beans and the handful of pasta and set the timer for another 10 minutes. By the time my buzzer went off again, I had laid out the bread, cheese, fruit and finagled one of the children innocently passing by the kitchen to pour a round of water for everyone. Before you knew it, we were sitting down to our meal and toasting Grandad.
Now, as with all things worth waiting for - wine, women, types of cheese, soups - this soup is delicious the first day but even better the next day and the next. As the soup ages, flavors co-mingle to give it a certain depth and complexity it lacks when it's so young. So, enjoy it for dinner tonight but appreciate the soup's deeper flavors the following days.
PS: Fish out that cheese rind after the initial cooking. I find that when left in the soup for subsequent days, the cheese flavor over-powers all of the other ingredients and therefore, tuns vegetable soup into a rather disturbing-looking cheese soup. And while you're fishing, you may want to grab the bay leaves and thyme stems. You wouldn't want to accidentally choke those down.
Yield: Enough for a family of 5, plus leftovers for lunch the next day.