It’s fall and time for soup. I picked up some beans, squash, kale, onions, garlic and beets this week from the “Endless Summer” an off-season order and pick up service put on by several Coupeville area farms. So, I checked with Alice Waters and she had just thing for us–fall minestrone with kale and butternut squash.
I’ve adapted this recipe from The Art of Simple Food and renamed it because every ingredient I used was grown and harvest right here on Whidbey Island. I also didn’t have the required carrots or butternut, using Golden beets and Delicata squash instead.
Now, I present for your soup fetish delight:
Whidbey Island Fall Minestrone
This soup includes:
- 1 cup dried rockwell beans, an extremely rare heirloom variety of bush bean native to coupeville, Wash.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium golden beet, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 bunch Rainbow Lacinata kale, stemmed, washed, and chopped
- 1 can Muir Glen Organic Diced Tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 4 Killarney Red garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 bunch of salad onions (in place of leeks), diced
- 2 Delecata squash, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
Yesterday, I picked up these glorious vegetables at Rosehip Farm & Garden. By the way, thanks to Linda for helping me carry them all to my car and congratulations for your nephew’s new baby boy. I drove home right away and immediately put 1 cup of dried Rockwell beans under water.
About 6-7 hours later, I put the beans in my crock pot with 2 inches of sea kelp and water covering about 3 inches above the beans. Did you know that cooking your beans with sea kelp helps reduce the chemicals that can cause flatulence. True story, not to mention the benefit of the extra nutrients you get from eating kelp. Don’t worry, you can’t taste it.
When I woke up this morning the beans were ready. I turned off the heat, reserved some of the liquid for later and drained the beans. Next, I started chopping.
Onions first, then the beets. The recipe calls for carrots, but I didn’t have any. I thought carrots and beets are both root vegetables in similar family, so why not. Next I finely chopped the celery and carried them all over to my heavy bottomed pot where I’d warmed 1/4 cup of olive oil on medium high heat. I have to say, at this point it was already starting to smell so good. I could tell this was going to be a good recipe.
This mixture is call Soffritto, meaning “underfried”, and described as: “a preparation of lightly browned minced vegetables, not a dish by itself”. I got that from Wikipedia. While that was coming to a nice golden brown color, I chopped and de-stemmed the kale, drained the tomatoes, measured out the herbs and coarsely chopped the garlic. And this all went into the Soffritto, about 15 minutes later. As you can see in the photo this was really lovely.
I let this cook another five minutes then I added 3 cups of water and increased the heat. Once it started to boil I added diced salad onions. Again, the recipe called for leeks, but I just used large green onions instead.
I let this cook and started peeling and dicing the Delecata squash. This took me a bit of time. I perhaps should have done it before beginning. The directions indicated that I could put the squash in after a 5 minute low boil, but it ended up being more like 10 minutes later. I’m a slow peeler, plus Bren decided he wanted to be held at that point. So I put him in the Ergo and tossed him on my back. Multi-tasking at it’s finest.
The squash was cubed and ready to go, so I tossed it in along with another couple of cups of water for good measure. It was getting a bit thick. Once the squash was tender, about 15 minutes later, I added the beans I cooked overnight along with 1 cup of the cooking liquid that I retained.
Everything simmered together for another five minutes. Then it was done. Chris and I added a little grated Parmesan on top and ate a bowl right away.
Just want we needed on a dreary fall morning.