Superspark

a year in food and life

Soup Swap and Tea Party April 7, 2007

Filed under: food,soups — superspark @ 9:48 am

mad-tea-party.jpg
(illustration from http://www.authorama.com)

Last weekend, on a gorgeous sunny day, I headed out to Los Feliz for a tea party and soup swap at Erin’s house. She had invited a handful of us, asking that we each whip up a batch of soup, bringing a quart per guest. With four of us attending the party, we’d each head home with three homemade soups, as if a tea party alone weren’t incentive enough to RSVP yes. Conveniently, the latest issue of Gourmet (April 2007) was chock full of recipes I was eager to try- in fact there was a whole section of tasty and interesting vegetarian meals, among them a Venetian-style bean and pasta soup.

This posting is just as much about the lovely tea party as about my bean soup. Ever the gracious host, Erin served lavender tea, though not before plying us with a summery white sangria. Even more tempting was the lemon upside-down cake she made from a L.A. Times food section recipe-moist, tasty cake with tangy sugared lemon slices. Yum! And what tea party would be complete without cucumber tea sandwiches? Good food, good company and three quarts of soup as a sort of adult “goody loot” bag. Dylan and I have been happily working our way through Erin’s green minestrone, Jill’s carrot and red pepper soup, and Kelly’s split-pea soup. And the best part? Totally freezable so that we can save it for days when there’s just no time to cook.

As for my soup, I wasn’t so sure about it at first, but it grew on me as it cooked and thickened. In fact it thickened so much and became such an unusually filling and creamy vegetarian meal that I’ve resorted to diluting it. I took a few liberties and short-cuts, but even so, though the soup has a short, basic list of ingredients, it takes quite a while to make. I tried the pressure cooker method (rather than the long, extended boil) and used a stick blender instead of a regular blender, both of which produced good results in a lot less time. And I would certainly have included the cheese rind for a little more flavor had I had one lying around…in general, I felt like the soup needed a little more flavor and we ended up seasoning it quite a bit. But that could also be my fault for resorting to a mix of canellini and anasazi beans when I couldn’t find the recommended cranberry beans. I’ve posted it just as Gourmet printed it, rather than incorporating my own improvisations. Sadly, we managed to scarf it all down before I remembered to take a photo, so you’ll just have to try it yourself.

Try the soup if you want a creamy, hearty veggie meal and more importantly, try hosting a soup swap party if you want a good excuse to see friends and take care of a week’s worth of meals all in one.
Venetian-style bean and pasta soup (serves eight)

Ingredients:
1 lb dried beans borlotti (cranberry) beans (or another bean of your choosing)
10 cups water
1/2 cup plus two tbsp extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
2 medium onions, chopped
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh, flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 roughly 3- by 2- inch piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (optional)
3/4 lb dried ditalini or other small tubular pasta

1. Bring beans and water (10 cups) to a boil in a large, heavy pot and boil two minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 1 hr. (Do not drain beans or discard soaking liquid.)

2. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a wide, heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot, then saute onions with 1/2 tsp salt, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 7-8 minutes. Add carrots, celery, parsley, garlic, rosemary, and pepper, and saute, sitrring occasionally, 5 minutes.

3. Add beans and soaking liquid and cheese rind (if using) and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until beans are very tender (1 1/2-2 1/2 hrs), adding more water if needed to keep beans covered. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup oil and remaining 1 1/4 tsp salt. Cool, uncovered, 20 minutes.

4. Discard rind and coarsely puree soup in batches in a blender (use caution), transferring as pureed to a large bowl. OR, use a stick blender and puree in the cooking pot.

5. Return soup to pot and reheat over moderately low heat, stirring frequently and thinning soup as desired with additional water. Season with salt and pepper. While soup is reheating, cook pasta in a large pot of water until al dente, then drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with remaining 2 tbsp oil and pepper to taste.

6. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with spoonfuls of pasta, then drizzle with oil (optional).

NOTES:

  • Beans can be cooked in 1/3 the time using a 6-8 qt pressure cooker. Follow recipe, sauteing veggies in pressure cooker, uncovered, then adding beans with soaking liquid and cheese rind (if using). Seal pressure cooker with lid and cook at high pressure, according to manufacturer’s instructions, until beans are tender 45 minutes to 1 hr. Put pressure cooker in sink (do not remove lid) and run cold water over lid until pressure goes down completely.
  • Soup, without pasta, can be made ahead and chilled up to 1 week or frozen 3 months. Soup thickens a lot as it stands, so thin with water while reheating over low heat.
 

14 Responses to “Soup Swap and Tea Party”

  1. […] vegetarian feature caught my eye. For a recent soup swap and tea party, I tried out the Venetian-style bean and pasta soup which was good, if not earth-shattering. The other recipe that I was particularly interested in […]

  2. […] must spend time dreaming up creative ways to merge food and socializing. After hosting an inspired soup-exchange-slash-tea-party several months ago, Erin asked if Jill and I might like to get together for a morning of making […]

  3. Het herstel van de economie is nog steeds niet sterk. Er moeten meer maatregelen genomen worden om de kredietverstrekking van banken aan consumenten en bedrijven weer op gang te brengen.

  4. I do enjoy the way you have framed this specific issue plus it does indeed supply me some fodder for thought. Nonetheless, because of everything that I have experienced, I simply wish when the commentary pack on that people continue to be on point and don’t get started on a tirade involving some other news of the day. Yet, thank you for this excellent piece and though I can not really agree with the idea in totality, I value the viewpoint.

  5. […] killing fields the killing fields texas killing fields burzynski pete seeger gazelle gazelle Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This […]

  6. Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.

  7. […] justin bieber paternity denver news kym johnson how old is justin bieber how old is justin bieber north dakota jobs referendum Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Uncategorized by heutmakeropsierra. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  8. Wider Fluent Says:

    I do enjoy the way you have framed this specific issue plus it does indeed supply me some fodder for thought. Nonetheless, because of everything that I have experienced, I simply wish when the commentary pack on that people continue to be on point and don’t get started on a tirade involving some other news of the day. Yet, thank you for this excellent piece and though I can not really agree with the idea in totality, I value the viewpoint.Thanks!

  9. […] degrasse tyson neil degrasse tyson bears lions bears lions neville neville heavy d Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  10. Hi there!What a nice post! This is my first visit to your site/blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful job! Awesome!

  11. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

  12. Appreciating the persistence you put into your blog and in depth information you offer. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material.Once again nice blog Wonderful to read!

  13. Your blog is looking great, thanks for sharing this nice recipe. I would love to try this recipe.

  14. hi!,I really like your writing very a lot! percentage we be in contact more approximately your article on AOL?
    I require an expert on this space to unravel my problem.

    Maybe that is you! Looking forward to see you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s