Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Harvest Italian Soup

Gypsy Slow Down


I've been spending a lot of my computer time lately on Etsy editing photos I re-took of my vintage pictures. I borrowed my sister-in-law's nicer camera and tried to stage some good shots. It was raining on my day off and since our house is about as big as a small chicken coop it was very dark indoors. Much of the day later, however, they do look cuter. I am still working on putting more up but you can check it out here if you want.

Witt's computer time has been spent researching bees and worms. He has decided to become a beekeeper. I am not sure how I feel about this. On a positive note, I dislike spiders more than bees, so that's one point in their favor. Second, the bee hive will be almost in the woods and I can just admire it from afar. But still, we're inviting creepy creatures that sting to come and live near us. Yet there will be honey at some point. And bees are needed now more than ever for pollination. The worms on the other hand are for the compost he is starting which I am fine with. I grew up putting worms on a fishing line hook so they don't bother me (don't we sound like we are turning into country folk?). Composting is a great idea, I always hate wasting the stems, leaves and coffee grinds leftover from vegetables and cooking and it will help the soil in the garden.



Gypsy Slow Down


Speaking of vegetables, I want to share this delicious rainy day soup I made with veggies from the garden. The garden has really outdone herself in the past few weeks. Kale here, spinach there. It's amazing to me how these things can grow from seeds. And that I can grow them from seeds! Ok, wait, I can't take credit for them. The three things I planted died. But Witt's 98% of the garden has done so well. We've had enough lettuce and spinach to give away. And it's so fun to be like, oh let me go grab something, from the garden. Our radishes are huge as you can see from the picture. Radishes are one plant that I think are fun to harvest (I wonder if I can say harvest when I'm talking about radishes) because when they are ready they come up halfway out of the ground. You just pull back the leaves and one day, pop, there they are. Normally all I think about radishes are the forgettable little slices in salads, but Witt discovered online that you can actually roast them and they turn into little delicious chips. You just slice them into thin round slices and roast them with a drizzle of olive oil at 375 for about 20 minutes or until golden. They were addicting, I promise.



Gypsy Slow Down


This soup was perfect for yesterdays cool, rainy spring weather. It's like Italian Wedding soup but even better. As I was putting it together I kept finding vegetables I needed to use up it's packed with flavor. A very light but rich tomato broth with mushrooms and garlic, peppers and celery. The sausage adds a sweetness that contrasts nicely with the earthy taste of the spinach and kale.

Spring Harvest Italian Soup

2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 Italian sausage links, out of casing
1/2 cup red wine
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
5 cups of chicken broth
1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups shredded kale
1 cup fresh spinach, stems removed
1 14 ounce can white beans, drained
3-4 drops hot sauce
Salt and pepper

Saute the onion and sausage with the olive oil until nice and browned. Add the celery, pepper and mushrooms and red wine. Saute for about five minutes. Add chicken broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, white beans, kale and spinach. Simmer for at least thirty minutes or until everything is tender. Add the hot sauce and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese and serve.



Gypsy Slow Down


Buon Appetito!


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