Friday, July 18, 2008

Spicy Bean Soup

Because Tyson's doesn't participate with Fandango, even though we sent Steven to the theater to get our tickets over his lunch break, we did not get our tickets because they were sold out. No Batman tonight :( Instead we watched Lars & The Real Girl, which was quite good.

Since we weren't eating movie popcorn and candy, I made dinner. We made this soup from Giada de Laurentiis, which is kind of odd because it has Mexican flavors AND Italian flavors. It also has a huge list of ingredients. But it comes together quickly and is very easy to prepare. I mopped the whole house and scrubbed out puppy pee stains while the soup was simmering, so by dinner time we had a nice clean house. The soup, while a little confusing due to all the flavors, is very good. I don't think it's a make-again because there isn't anything super-special about it, but it is very yummy. I look forward to leftovers tomorrow!


Spicy Bean Soup
Giada de Laurentiis

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, optional
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juices
1 (11 1/2-ounce) can tomato juice
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind, optional
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried green lentils
3 cups broccoli florets
2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 yellow crookneck squash, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Heat the oil in a heavy large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic, and saute until the onions are translucent, about 15 minutes. Add the chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano and crushed red pepper, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, tomato juice, tomato paste, cheese rind, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Add the broth, garbanzo beans, cannellini beans, and lentils. Stir in the broccoli, zucchini, and yellow squash. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium. Simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender and the mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Season the stew to taste with more salt, if desired.

Ladle the stew into bowls. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and basil, and serve.

Yield: 10 servings

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