Soup is the answer to all of life’s most rhetorical and profound problems.
Feeling cold? Soup.
Feeling tired? Soup.
Feeling like skinny jeans are just too much for you to handle? Soup.
Feeling like you need a stiff drink in anticipation of all of the cooking meltdowns you know you’ll be having in the next four days? Soup with vodka.
Unless, of course, the question is “Should I run a 4 mile race even though I’m currently in so much pain that I need to bathe in Bengay every five minutes?” Soup is not the answer for that person. (A psychiatric consult, on the other hand…)
But for those of us who had to run walk four miles next to Bengay man/woman/other?
A house smelling like rosemary with a soup that tastes like comfort is totally our answer. There doesn’t even need to be a question. It’s just the answer.
Plus we need a way to celebrate the fact that we have completed our nine New York Road Runner races plus our one volunteer session this year. And that we will, by hook or by crook and with a ton of physical therapy sessions, be running the NYC Marathon in 2012.
(Note – for those of you who don’t know, since the NYC Marathon is so hard to get into, New York Road Runners has this system by which, if you run nine of their races plus volunteer at one of them – commonly called the 9+1 – you get guaranteed entry into the marathon.)
And also that last week our orthopedist told us we could run in six weeks. Six. Single digit numbers. (I would have kissed him if his arrogance wasn’t such a damn turn-off.)
So if this soup were our proverbial cake, that fig and walnut tapenade would be the icing. (And it also just happens to be the perfect appetizer for the BIG DAY when served along with some goat cheese!) And what a party it would be. A healthy party, to be sure…but I think we’re going to get enough unhealthy in about three days. We can sacrifice a little now…especially when “sacrifice” tastes this good.
Rosemary White Bean Soup
Serves 6, adapted from Ina Garten
- 1 lb dried white cannellini beans
- 4 cups sliced yellow onions (about 3)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large branch fresh rosemary
- 2 quarts veggie broth (I used this)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1 inch and soak overnight. Drain.
- Saute the onions in olive oil in a large stockpot over low to medium heat until they are translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for three more minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, broth, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes or until the beans are very soft. Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Reheat and add salt and pepper to taste.
Fig and Walnut Tapenade
Serves 20, adapted from the Bon Appetit Cookbook
- 1 cup chopped dried Mission figs
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 1/2 tsp rosemary, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- Combine the chopped figs and 1/3 cup water in a heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Mix in olives, olive oil, vinegar, capers, rosemary and walnuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here: http://www.fageusa.com/