Monday, March 2, 2015

Pesto Soup

Lots of nutrition in this soup - cauliflower, greens and beans plus a special surprise - Gnocchi.  I love me some gnocchi!

Pesto Soup
Isa Does It – cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

2            teaspoons olive oil
3            cloves garlic, minced
1            small head, cauliflower (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into florets
4            cups vegetable broth
1/2         teaspoon dried thyme
1/2         teaspoon salt
              several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1            tablespoon arrowroot or organic corn starch
1            cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
8            ounces frozen gnocchi, partially thawed (leave on counter for 30 min. or so)
1            small bunch Swiss Chard torn into pieces (I used Kale, coarsely chopped)
1            15 ounce navy beans, rinsed and drained
              toasted pine nuts for garnish

Preheat a 4 quart stockpot over medium heat and add the oil.  Saute the garlic in the oil for about 1 minute, being careful not to let it burn.  Add the cauliflower, 3 cups of the broth, thyme, salt and pepper.  Cover the pot and bring to a boil stirring every now and again and boiling for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.

In a measuring cup, vigorously mix together the remaining 1 cup broth and the arrowroot until dissolved.  Lower the heat a bit so that the soup is at a low boil.  Mix in the broth and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes, stirring often, until slightly thickened.  Add the basil leaves and remove from the heat.  Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, then use a blender or food processor to puree in batches, be careful to lift the lid once in a while to let steam escape.  Taste for seasoning.

Return the soup to the stove over medium heat and add the gnocchi; cover and let cook for 3 minutes or so.  Add the greens and beans and cook until the greens are completely wilted and the beans are heated through, about 5 more minutes.  Be careful as you stir not to crush the gnocchi or beans.  Serves garnished with extra basil and pine nuts, if you like.

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