I don't know why the first real snow fall always comes as a bit of a surprise — we live in Toronto, for God's sake — but it does. I'm embarrassed to say that I read on Twitter that it was snowing before looking out the window. "Snow!" tweeted one friend. "Snow!" tweeted another, adding the saucy hash tag: #bringit! It was really coming down for about an hour and our deck and the last brave herbs holding on out there were completely covered. Julian kept pointing at the sky and saying, "Oh!"
Well, that's the kind of day that calls for soup, don't you think?
This is quite a hardy soup. If you added some browned pieces of sausage it would cross right over to stew. But I didn't, so… stoup? I can't lie, when Esme saw how much green was in her lunch she was skeptical but she did like it and ate half her bowl. I think the "grilled cheese" on top helped. I always think it's a good idea to add a favourite to a meal where you know you're pushing something not so favourite. Julian liked it a lot although his latest gig as a self feeder meant it was also a big mess. Ah, well.…
Beans and Greens Soup
Glug of olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 clove garlic, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary and thyme, chopped fine
4 cups stock, vegetable or chicken (I used turkey stock I had in the freezer from Thanksgiving)
1 14 ounce can of cannelini beans
1 28 ounce cans or chick peas
approximately 6 cups fresh spinach, wash and stems pinched off
salt and pepper to taste
4 pieces baguette cut an inch thick
1/4 — 1/3 cup grated parmesan (Gruyere would be good, too)
Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until quite soft and beginning to turn golden. Add herbs.
Add the beans. Use a potato masher to mash about half of the beans. Add the stock and stir well. The mashed beans will combine with the stock to make a creamy base for the soup. Allow to simmer for 10 or 15 minutes.
Fire up the broiler and place the baquette on a cookie sheet. Press a small amount of grated cheese on each piece and place under the heat. It will only take a couple of minutes.
While the cheese is melting, throw the spinach in the soup and stir so it all gets covered by soup and wilts. Taste before adding salt and pepper. Remember that if you're using parmesan it's often quite a salty cheese. And we're trying to use less salt, right? Sorry, I don't mean to nag!
Pull the crostini out of the oven. Ladle soup into a bowl and top with the cheesy bread. As you can see from the picture above, winter blogging means taking Mohammed to the mountain (or the food to the light source). It also means curious children getting in the shot. "Oh!"