This is a great soup to make on your local Farmer's Market day. If you can, bring the kids with you to meet the farmers who grow your local veggies, and let them choose some of the bounty that will find its way into the soup. There are no hard and fast rules as to what to include, and in fact, every time I make it, I end up with a distinctly different soup in the end. As long as you buy the freshest veggies you can get your hands on, and work to include a variety of color and texture in your choices, you'll have a beautiful, fresh and satisfying soup in the end. If you use a store bought chicken stock, make sure it is a low sodium brand, and if you have the time, allow an hour at the start to infuse it with some aromatics to add a little more interest and depth to your soup. —Oui, Chef
16 ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
medium onion, finely diced
large carrot, cut into 1/4 inch dice
zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
green beans, cut into 1 inch lengths
leaves of swiss chard or kale, sliced into 1/2" thick ribbons
Place chicken stock and water in a sauce pan over low-medium heat. Add the aromatics tied in a cheese cloth bundle, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove the bundle and reserve the stock.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot over low-medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and saute 15 minutes to soften.
Raise the heat to medium, and add the green beans, zucchini, cannellini beans, tomatoes, and chicken stock to the pan, and cook 10 minutes. You want the soup at a simmer, not a rolling boil.
Add the corn, peas, and swiss chard and cook for another 5 minutes. Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into warm bowls and top with a spoonful of fresh pesto.
You can also make a crouton by taking a slice of baguette, topping it with some gruyere cheese, and toasting it under the broiler. Spoon some pesto onto the crouton and float it on top of your soup. Oh, la, la.
I am a father of five, who recently completed a two year professional hiatus during which I indulged my long held passion for cooking by moving to France to study the culinary arts and immerse myself in all things French. I earned “Le Grande Diplome” from Le Cordon Bleu, studied also at The Ritz Escoffier and Lenotre cooking schools, and completed the course offerings of the Bordeaux L’Ecole du Vin.
About six months ago started "Oui, Chef", which is a food blog that exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my children a few things about cooking, and how our food choices over time effect not only our own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences through the blog, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, cooking healthy meals as a family, passing on established familial food traditions, and perhaps starting some new ones.