From Steve Zaransky
Serves 6 – 8
[Ed: A great, hearty vegetarian soup that didn’t make it into the wrap-up of our LTH Forum night. Don’t forget to drizzle with oil and cheese before serving. That little blast of EVOO was a treat.]
Ingredients1⁄2 pound dried cannellini beans 2 celery ribs 1 carrot(medium) 1 Spanish onion (medium) 1 zucchini (medium) 2-3 garlic cloves crushed ½ cabbage (small), cored 2 cups vegetable broth 8 cups water 1 Parmesan cheese rind 1 bay leaf 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes fresh basil salt pepper good olive oil
Pick over beans and remove any debris. Rinse and drain beans,then soak overnight in 2 quarts of water. Before beginning to cook beans, drain and discard soaking water.
Add beans, water, broth, Parmesan rind, and bay leaf to a Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, add 1 teaspoon of salt and cook until beans are tender (45 to 60 minutes).
While beans are cooking, cut celery, carrots, onion, and, zucchini into1⁄2” cubes and cabbage into 1⁄2” pieces.
Sauté celery, carrots, onions, and zucchini in olive oil until lightly browned. Stir in tomato paste and allow to cook for a minute or two, then add red pepper flakes, cabbage, 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt and garlic. Continue to cook until cabbage wilts and garlic is fragrant.
When beans are very tender, add vegetable mixture to Dutch oven and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until vegetables are soft and flavors have melded. Discard bay leaf and parmesan rind
Finely chop a handful of basil and add it to the soup just before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, top each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil (use the good stuff) and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese or more basil, if desired.