A vegetarian I am not. Never have been.
However, recently I caught a mess of crap from a pair of non-meat eaters of my acquaintance. (They called me a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal; can you believe that?) And so, in the interest of harmonious relations with the herbivore crowd, allow me to offer one of the best meat-eschewing soups that I know.
(If you are wondering what possible use could such a recipe have at this time of year, then consider this: Last week it was cold enough and wet enough up here that, as the soup simmered on the stovetop at the waterfront cabin where I was visiting, I strolled down to a nearby ship's chandlery and bought myself a new fleece cap.)
I just gotta fly south one of these days.
So, you got your onions, your garlic, celery, pepper, like that, all sauteing in olive oil, then some dry vermouth.
Toss in the broccoli and the beans, along with a good chunk(s) of rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I always have a bunch in the freezer).
Add water or vegetable stock and cook for about an hour.
And there you go.
No muss, no fuss.
And no dragging of knuckles.
Bean and broccoli soup
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 whole garlic cloves
1 small onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 hot pepper, chopped
1/4 cup dry vermouth
2 cups cannelini beans (fresh or dried)
1 head broccoli
Rind from Parmigiano-Reggiano
8 cups water or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the garlic, onion, celery and hot pepper in oil until softened, then add vermouth and cook until it evaporates.
Add the broccoli, beans, cheese rind and liquid, then a good dose of salt and some ground pepper.
Cook about an hour and serve.