Monday, November 12, 2012

Fall is Soup Season

Romance. In a Pot.


All I am saying, is if you want to woo your lover, make him this soup. Throw in some Apothic Red, breadsticks and a Caesar salad? That is a baby-making meal, right there.

Minestrone for Your Lover
2 Good Sized Tablespoons of Bacon Fat (See? I am not fooling around.)
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
2-3 Cloves Minced Garlic
Tons of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
A Meager Sprinkling of Salt (Tiny, I say! You want to taste the sweetness of those veggies.) 
5 Carrots, Peeled and Chopped
5 Stalks of Celery, Chopped
1 Large Zucchini, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Basil
1 Tablespoon Fresh, Minced Rosemary
1 Can Great Northern Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1 Can Kidney Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1 Regular Sized Can (Not the miniature one) Plain Tomato Sauce
1 Cup of Dry Red Wine (The kind you'll drink with the meal. The kind that makes you feel all funny inside. I use Apothic Red.)
4 Cups Beef Broth
3 Water
1/2 Pound Medium Shell Pasta
Grated Parmesan, for sprinkling

1. Cook chopped onion and garlic in bacon fat. Cook until translucent.
2. Grind the pepper into the pot until it looks good and peppery. (Approx. 1 1/2 Tablespoon? Pepper tastes rustic to me. And rustic is hot.)
2. Once the onions and garlic are cooked, add carrots and celery. Cook them in the fat until they are brilliant in color.
3. Add the zucchini last. It takes the least amount of cooking.
4. Add tomato sauce.
5. Add wine.
6. Add rinsed Kidney and Northern Beans.
7. Add Basil and Rosemary and give the whole pot a nice big stir.
8. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain simmer for an hour.
9. When it looks kinda like the picture above (all incorporated and reduced and rich) add 3 cups of water* and bring back to a boil.
*If you're anything like me and you like a hearty, stewy soup this step will hurt your heart. Don't worry. It will return to it's previous stewyness soon. 
10. Add Pasta and simmer for about 10 minutes or according to your taste. (I like well done noodles in this jam. Al Dente be damned!)

Nowthen. Ladle this soup into a bowl and sprinkle generously with parmesan. And let it melt for goodness sake! This soup should be accompanied by garlicky breadsticks and Caesar salad with croutons. The lights should be low and you should definitely have a glass of Apothic. The rest? Well, that is up to you.

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