Basil Vegetable Soup

Basil Vegetable Soup

A quick and simple healthy soup that’s perfect for a weeknight meal. Adapted from “The Art of Good Cooking,” any mix of vegetables could be used and the frozen green beans could be replaced by peas, broccoli, or any combination of mixed vegetables. I added tomato because I find it almost impossible to eat basil and Parmesan without tomato. I like to think of it as an Italian style ramen soup. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 can (15.5oz) cannellini beans or white beans
3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
3 small zucchinis, halved and sliced
1 package (10 oz) frozen green beans
2 quarts vegetable broth or chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry vermicelli (rice noodles)
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil
1 large tomato, diced
grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add a little of the liquid from the can of beans. Add sliced carrots and zucchini, saute for 1 minute. Add beans, garlic, frozen beans, tomato, salt, and pepper. Saute one minute more. Add broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender. Check seasoning and correct if necessary. Add vermicelli and simmer until just barely tender.

While soup is cooking, chop basil finely. When vermicelli is tender, remove soup from heat and add basil.

Serve with grated Parmesan and chopped basil.

Serves 8-10.

Yum

Turkey Sausage with Sauteed Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Turkey Sausage with Sauteed Apples and Sweet Potatoes

A rustic seasonal dish that combines the comforting flavors of fall and Thanksgiving. For the apples, I use granny smith which are very tart and require slightly more sugar, but any firm crisp apple may be used. The brown sugar helps brown and caramelize the apples almost like an apple pie. The original recipe from “The Art of Good Cooking” did not have sausage but I found that the saltiness balances the sweet and acidic flavors from the sweet potatoes and apples. The sausage also rounds out the dish to make it a complete lunch or small dinner.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pound sweet turkey sausage
1 1/2 – 2 sweet potatoes or yams peeled and cut in 1/2″ cubes
3 semi-tart, hard apples peeled cored and sliced 1/4″ thin and halved
1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
pinch of salt
crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Heat a medium sized skillet large enought to hold all of the sausages in one layer over medium heat. Add oil. Place sausage in pan and brown on all sides and remove. Add about half the butter. When butter has melted, add sweet potatoes and sautee until crisp and tender all over

While sweet potatoes cook, heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add remaining butter. When butter has melted, add apples, sugar, and lemon zest. Sautee for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the sausage at an angle in 1-2 inch pieces.

When apples are slightly browned and dry but not quite soft, add orange juice. Add the sweet potatoes and sliced sausage to the pan. Cook until orange just evaporates and sausage is cooked through.

Serve and top with crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 4

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