Autumn Vegetable Soup with Italian Flavors
With this soup, I discovered a new and easy way to deepen Italian flavors in soup. I added the garlic with the broth, rather than with the onions at the beginning, so the flavor is much stronger and I added some purchased green olive spread to the broth. The green olive flavor, along with the crunchy cauliflower, the sweet carrots, and the moody chard, worked beautifully to produce an incredibly tasty soup.
It's been misty here all day and a vegetable soup seemed like a good light lunch to offset the upcoming holiday goodies. But this soup was so good, I have to admit I ate 3 small bowls full.
Autumn Vegetable Soup with Italian Flavors:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp butter
2 leeks, white parts only sliced on the diagonal
3 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 Nantes carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1 cup cauliflower florettes
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
salt & pepper
2 cups vegetable stock
pinch of sweet basil (dried)
2 tbsp red lentils
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp green olive spread
3 large leaves chard, ribs removed and torn into manageable pieces
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook gently until softened (5-6 minutes). Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage and butter. Cover and cook for approx. 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Season: keep in mind the green olive paste is salty. Add the vegetable stock, dried sweet basil, red lentils, and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and add the garlic and green olive spread. Simmer, partially covered for 8 minutes. Add the torn chard leaves and simmer an additional 4-5 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve.