Thursday, April 21, 2011

White Minestrone

Soup is a great meal that you can cook ahead and have on hand for midweek lunches or for a quick dinner. 
I made this soup midweek, so I skipped a couple steps like the parm rind and the homemade pesto garnish.   I did add the parmesan at the end and it still tasted great.

                                           Fry up the chopped bacon in EVOO

                                        Shredded cabbage, Fennel, onion, garlic

                                        Add to the cooked bacon, add a bay leaf

 Sweat the cabbage mixture
                                                           Add th stock

                                        One can of rinsed white cannelini beans

                                           1 cup fussili pasta, cook until al dente

Cook until al dente

                                           Pull off the stove, and add the peas

               French Bread, wth roasted garlic chunks in it.  Now this is a carb to "splurge" on.

                                                     Healthy dinner time 

                                               Doesn't that look yum-o! 

Yay, there are leftovers for the week.   
They can be frozen or refridgerated in plastic bags or plastic containers. 

                                Soup makes for a great lunch during a busy work day.

White Minestrone with Fusilli  by Rachael Ray Rachael Ray  

(this is her exact recipe, I modified it for items I had.)

  • 5-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, chopped (optional)
  • 1 large bulb fennel, quartered and thinly sliced, plus a handful of fronds, chopped
  • 1/2 small head Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • A couple of scant handfuls freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus the rind for the stock and a hunk for shaving at the table
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can white beans (14 ounces), rinsed
  • 1 cup short fusilli pasta
  • 1/2-2/3 cup frozen peas (a couple of small handfuls)
  • 1 cup fresh herbs (mix any two: tarragon, basil, parsley, mint), packed
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • Juice of 1/2 small lemon
Heat a couple of tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta, if using, and cook until lightly browned. Add the sliced fennel, cabbage, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Throw in the Parmigiano Reggiano rind and bay leaf, cover the pot and sweat the fennel and cabbage, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and the beans and bring to boil. Stir in the fusilli and cook until just about al dente. Stir in the peas, turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Discard the cheese rind and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Meanwhile, using a food processor, pulse the packed herbs, fennel fronds, pine nuts, lemon juice, grated cheese, remaining 3-4 tablespoons EVOO and salt and pepper into a pesto.
Serve the soup in shallow bowls with spoonfuls of the pesto for mixing in. Pass the hunk of cheese for grating at the table

Nature's Perfect Food
Beans have the highest antioxidant content, period. Plus they're delicious, low cal, and they fill you up fast
by Prevention magazine
Health Benefits: Bean by Bean
The key nutrients in each bean vary by type. Give your  body a broader range and reap the anti-aging and disease-fighting benefits by might it up.

Rich in anthocyanins, the same heart disease– and cancer-fighting antioxidants that are found in grapes and cranberries.

Garbanzo (chickpeas)
A recent study found that a chickpea-fortified diet slashed “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by almost 5%.

The thiamin (vit B1) in this bean protects memory and brain function; a deficiency has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Navy Potassium regulates blood pressure and normal heart contractions.

Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar, lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Some Bean-Based Power Meals
Cup for cup, beans provide about twice as much fiber as most veggies, and you can count them as either a protein or vegetable in your meals. Here, three fast fixes that will fill you up for less than 500 calories:

Taco Salad
Top 2 cups of bagged baby greens with 1/2 cup of rinsed and drained canned black beans. Top with 1/4 cup of salsa, sprinkle with reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese, and garnish with 2 tablespoons of chopped avocado.

Mediterranean Bean Boats
Spoon 2 tablespoons of rinsed and drained canned garbanzo beans into each of 4 large romaine lettuce leaves. Top each with a few strips of jarred roasted red pepper and garnish with chopped onions and pine nuts.

Rustic Bean Sauté
In a medium skillet, sauté 1/2 cup of rinsed and drained canned kidney beans with 1 cup of canned Italian-style tomatoes and 1 cup of frozen cut green beans. When heated through, transfer to a dish and dust with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

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