Minestrone is a staple in my house, it’s healthy, loaded with vegetables, and hearty. It’s a great way to use up whatever vegetables you have in your crisper, and the rest of the ingredients are things that you probably already have on hand in your pantry.
I don’t have a “recipe” for minestrone, I make it with what I have on hand. The key to great minestrone is starting with aromatics, then adding a combination of vegetables, beans and starch (optional). You can finish the soup with a little olive oil, fresh herbs, cheese or croutons. Serve with a salad or crusty bread (or both) – and you have a healthy and satisfying meal.
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Bouillabaisse is a traditional Provencal seafood stew that is made with at least 3 kinds of fish and flavored with saffron and traditional Provencal flavors like fennel, tomato, bay, thyme and tarragon. Traditionally, the soup is served with rouille, a mayonnaise made of olive oil, garlic, saffron and cayenne pepper on grilled bread.
My bouillabaisse is not a traditional version, but it does contain the traditional flavors. I like to make this with leftover scraps of fish that I keep in my freezer when I buy a piece of fish to cut into fillets. I usually have some halibut pieces and shrimp in the freezer, which is enough to make this dish (though it doesn’t meet the traditional rule of three types of seafood). I also like to add clams, mussels or calamari to the stew.
I skip the rouille, and serve this with simple grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.
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This vegan soup is a wonderful, healthy, low calorie and low fat meal that is a great antidote to holiday indulging. The soup is delicious on its own, but what really takes it to the next level is serving it with a selection of different toppings/ condiments on the side. You can serve this soup year-round; in the summer I take advantage of fresh corn, in the winter I use hominy instead of corn.
If you aren’t familiar with hominy, it is corn that has been soaked in an alkali solution, which causes it to swell to 2-3 times it’s normal size. The flavor of hominy is not as sweet as fresh corn, it tastes more like the corn flavor in a corn tortilla or a tortilla chip: slightly sour and more mineraly than fresh corn. The texture of hominy is it’s best feature, it has a lovely chewy bite.
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