Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Put everything in a pot...
So Ryan and I wanted to cook our first dinner of 2008. Problem was, we didn't have much left in our kitchen. (see left for some of our initial ingredients). Ryan thought that we could make a soup using some of our tomato sauce and the chicken stock as a base. Pre-blog, I made a chicken tortilla soup using a similar base and we had seen Giada make a seafood soup with this base as well. Referencing several of our cookbooks we settled on a ratio of roughly 4 cups of stock to 1 cup of tomato sauce. Here is how it all went down.
We started with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and cooked down 1/2 of a large red onion and three teaspoons of minced garlic. Taking a tip from Alton Brown's Good Eats we cooked a bag of frozen mixed veggies in the microwave (this particular mix had broccoli, carrots, snow peas and baby corn) and added it to the onion and garlic. Then in went the chicken stock, about 1/2 cup of white wine, and the homemade tomato sauce. We brought the soup to a boil and considered adding some acini di pepe pasta, but decided to use some beans as a starch instead. We used one can of cannelloni beans and one can of red kidney beans.
Ryan (in his new red apron) seasoned with a bay leaf, dried rosemary, lots of salt (maybe too much), ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, and dried parsley. We also smashed some of the beans and added some tomato paste to thicken the broth. We let it simmer for 15-20 minutes as I made some grilled cheese sandwiches with American and mozzarella cheese. Just before dinner we added what was left of a small bag of frozen, pre-cooked shrimp.
We finished it with some croutons. Ryan liked it with some tobasco sauce and I even put a drop of that in mine. The soup was a little salty, but otherwise very good. The veggies held up and didn't get too mushy (which I was a little worried about) and the rosemary didn't overpower the rest of the spices and ingredients. Overall, it had great flavor and the beans and shrimp gave it some good heartiness. If I had to compare it to a well known soup I would say minestrone. I was so proud of us.