Inspiration for tonight's dinner : sleepy soup-and-salad gets a makeover and comes out drop dead delicious. If the crispy, salty, and spicy, Radish Salad with Anchovy Sauce is the hors d'oeuvre you take out on the town, then WinnieAb's Smoky Minestrone with Tortellini and Parsley or Basil Pesto is the sultry, steamy bowl you want to stay in with, curled up together in front of a roaring fire.
1 large bunch radishes
1 large bunch fresh parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 slices bacon (optional- if you leave it out then the soup will be vegetarian)
1 15 ounce can of chick peas
1 28 ounce can tomatoes
1 cup kale
1 9 ounce package best-quality cheese tortellini
Savvy cooks that you are, we assume that between your fridge and your pantry you have olive oil, garlic, a few capers, an anchovy, salt, lemon, parmesan, carrots, celery, onions, and either chicken or vegetable stock. If not, sieze the day and stock up!
1. For the minestrone, there is some minimal chopping that must happen before you get it simmering on the stove. Prep your vegetables, brown the bacon, saute the onions, dump the vegetables in, and add your stock. Simmer for 30-40 minutes.
2. While the soup simmers away, prep the dressing for the radish salad. Then chop the radishes and toss it all together. From this point, amanda recommends that you serve the salad within 30 minutes. The soup should only have about 20 minutes left so don't stress, the timing is just perfect.
3. Chop up the parsley pesto that will garnish the soup. Ladle, bowl, garnish, and serve!
Aside: Re: making the pesto. (sshhhh!) If you feel spooked at the thought of whipping up a pesto from scratch along with the rest of your dinner, feel free to open a great quality jar of store-bought, as WinnieAb generously allows. It's a weeknight after all, you can afford a shortcut or two. Why? Because dinner is served.