Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Vegetarian" Cassoulet

We love this soup. It's based on this 2008 Gourmet recipe.

1. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in medium pot. Slice 2 carrots, white parts of 2 (thoroughly cleaned) leeks, and 3 stalks of celery about the same size. Add a reasonable amount of salt and pepper. Then saute until all are pretty well cooked through and softened... about 15 minutes.

2. Dice one clove of garlic (or two) with a little bit of ground clove and sautee with veg for about a minute.

3. Add one can of cannellini beans and stir it around and try to mash some of them up a little so they'll thicken your broth.

4. Bury a few sprigs of thyme and one sprig of rosemary under everything. You could tie them together as a kind of bouquet garni, but I usually just fish them out before ladling.

5. Pour enough chicken broth to cover everything. And then a little extra.

6. While the soup is simmering (20 minutes or so), tear about half a baguette into pieces and pulse in the food processor until you have rough breadcrumbs. Do NOT use package bread crumbs. The baguette is what makes the soup. It is essential.

7. On a baking sheet, toss breadcrumbs with olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Toast them on 4oo degrees for 8-10 minutes. Then take them out shake them around, and toast them for another 8-10 minutes. Watch them. No burning.

8. Dice up between a half a cup and a cup of parsley. Toss half of it with the crispy breadcrumbs. Stir the other half of it in the simmering soup.

9. Ladle into bowls and top generously with the breadcrumbs.

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