It’s officially soup season! Okay, admittedly it’s been soup season at our house since the minute the temperatures dipped below 75 degrees in Austin, but I’m still really excited about it. How do I love this soup? Let me count the ways. First, it’s loaded with white beans and hearty vegetables that make it quite possibly the most satisfying plant-based dinner I can think of. Next (and I never thought I’d be one of those moms that “hid” vegetables in things), Henry doesn’t recognize the mostly blended cauliflower as a veggie, so he’ll eat it by the bowlful. And finally, the act of throwing all these ingredients into a big pot and then letting them cook down low and slow is bizarrely therapeutic for me at the end of a long workday. Now that you’re sold, keep scrolling for the recipe…
*photos by kate zimmerman
I could not imagine a better time of year to be partnering with Imagine on a series that uses its all-natural and organic soups as a springboard for culinary creativity. Especially on busy weeknights, I love incorporating ready-to-go products like these that make my life easier, but it’s still crucial to me that the ingredients are all-natural and real without any of the bad stuff (preservatives, GMO’s, and the like.) Imagine’s soups check all the boxes and make the perfect foundation for all the fall soups I’ve been dreaming up.
This soup starts with roasting garlic for that incredible depth of flavor (that also makes the entire house smell ridiculously good.) It’s an extra step that’s so worth it. Next comes the low, slow sauté of all our veggies, which is less about browning them and more about just softening and lightly caramelizing so they gently release all their rich flavor into the soup.
Next comes the beans and the Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, which has that hearty homemade taste (and doesn’t require me to simmer an entire bird — sorry peeps, no time for that right now.) Speaking of time, you might balk at a weeknight soup with a total cook time of over an hour, however, notice that most of it is completely hands-off. That means that when I get home from work, I can toss the garlic in the oven and throw all the veggies in the pot, and let them do their own thing while I sort the mail / play with the kids / do laundry / accomplish all my other afterwork to-do’s. Or… just kicking back with a glass of wine is good, too.
Here’s a secret to this soup: do not even THINK about skipping the toppings! They’re crucial. A big chunk of parmegiano reggiano for grating, plus more rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil, and something crunchy like homemade croutons. To make them, I tear up pieces of crusty bread, toss them on a baking sheet with olive oil and garlic salt, then bake until golden brown and crunchy. As Phoebe would say, “easy peasy.”
This soup is the starting point for creating my perfect cold-weather weeknight at home. A pot of this beauty simmering on the stove practically begs for cozy socks, a glass of Pinot, and
The Bachelor a good foreign film. Suddenly a stressful workday becomes #MondayFunday (or #WinningWednesday, or whatevs.)
What fall soups are you guys cooking up this season? I’d love to hear in the comments, and let me know if you give this one a try!
- 1 whole head garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced (stalks and fronds reserved for another use or discarded)
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, plus more for garnish
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 quart Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth
- for garnish: olive oil, chopped rosemary, grated parmesan and homemade croutons
- First, roast the garlic. Preheat oven to 450, then cut off just a sliver of the top of the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Wrap in foil and roast for 40 minutes or so, until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot, then add fennel, onion, cauliflower, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. Heat over medium low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add cannellini beans and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 30 more minutes.
- Ladle half of soup into a blender, and squeeze roasted garlic cloves out of skins into the blender along with it. Roughly purée on a low setting, then return to soup pot. Stir to combine well and rewarm it all, then ladle into soup bowls.
- Serve, topped with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of rosemary, tons of grated parmesan and croutons. Eat!