Thursday, January 1, 2015

Green Minestrone alla Genovese

Happy New Year!  After a night of celebrating, it is good to have a healthy and mild tasting soup to nourish the body and recover the fluids that your body desperately needs after drinking too much champagne....  So today I made Green Minestrone.  It's a subtle tasting soup, full of all kinds of green vegetables.  I basically looked for anything green that I could find in my vegetable bin that wasn't Asian.  I found Cabbage, Zucchini, Celery, Green Beans and some Parsley and Basil.  I used Chicken Broth as the base, but you could just as easily use Vegetable Broth to make it vegetarian. I called it alla Genovese because of the herbs, especially because I used Basil. I decided not to add any small pasta or cubes of potato or Cannellini Beans as I wanted it to have more broth, but all or any of those ingredients would also be very good additions. This soup would also be good if you added Leeks, Fennel, Spinach or Swiss Chard.  I think it is one of those soups that can vary a lot based on what you have on hand and I assure you that it will always taste delicious!  It came together quickly and I drizzled it with a high quality Olive Oil and sprinkled Parmesan Cheese on it when I served it. My son also sprinkled it with Red Chili Flakes.  This is a nourishing and restorative soup - just perfect after a night of revelry!  

Green Minestrone alla Genovese

8 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
5 cups cut up vegetables  (I used 1/4 of a cabbage, 1 large Zucchini, a Handful of Green Beans and a large stalk of Celery)
1/4 cup chopped Parsley
1/4 cup chopped Basil
1 teaspoon Salt, if needed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, grated Parmesan Cheese and Red Pepper Flakes for serving

Optional:  1 large potato, peeled and cut into small pieces or 1 can drained Cannellini Beans or 1 cup small Pasta like Orzo added for the last 10 minutes. 

Bring the broth to a boil in a soup pot.  Put in all the vegetables and the Parsley.  Return to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.  Taste and add salt if needed.  Then stir in the Basil and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, grated Parmesan Cheese and Red Pepper Flakes

Five Element Analysis

Soup by its dry nature is a Water Food and this is a broth based soup, so that Element is present by default. If you make it a thick soup, be sure to serve some other Water Foods. Chicken Broth belongs to the Wood Element as do the Green Beans and Celery. The Cabbage and Zucchini contribute the Earth Element.  And, the Onions, Garlic, Parsley, Basil and Parmesan Cheese make sure that the Metal Element is represented as well. Only the Fire Element is missing, so the Red Pepper Flakes help with that. But, it would be wise then to serve this soup with another Fiery food, like a Tomato Salad to achieve a Five Element balance. 

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