Monday, August 31, 2009

Second Helping: Welcome, Purple Soup

We've all felt like melting on a hot pot while eating delicious pizza and sipping wine last Friday. The end of Summer surprised us with a punch of heat. But never mind. It was wonderful to be with friends talking and day-dreaming about the near future, while kids were tamed by Herbie Rides Again , the movie. But today is Monday and all that hot atmosphere seems to be left behind. I've been thinking all day to become vegetarian, vegan or something else that excludes animals. And then I rushed to the kitchen to prepare a soup. A Purple Soup. On the back of my mind I knew I would have the help of nice and expensive Reggiano Parmeggiano and nice pasta for the kids.

Purple Soup

Probably whatever is available in your fridge will make this soup a huge success as far as you have purple cabbage, purple onion, and some celery, and good grated cheese -- the predominant ingredients. Darienne asked me last time if a pressure cooker would be a good acquisition. If you aim to have one, I recommend a Lagostina, Italian, sturdy and not dangerous. I've been using mine since 2003, and gosh that pot rocks!

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 purple onion, sliced
1/2 purple cabbage, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 clove garlic, halved
2 yellow zucchinis, chopped
1 (12-oz.) can organic diced tomatoes
1/2 gallon of filtered water
4 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 cups of kid's dry pasta (alphabet, stars, rings, or any small, kid-friendly pasta)
baby spinach to garnish
shaved Reggiano to garnish

In a stock pot or pressure cooker, stir-fry onions, cabbage, and celery in hot olive oil. Add all ingredients and fill pot with water (from 1/2 to one gallon depending on the capacity of pot). Cook over medium heat for 25 minutes in a pressure cooker and about 50 minutes in a normal stock pot.
Add pasta and cook for 8 more minutes.
Top each bowl with spinach and cheese.

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