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  1. Tuesday, May 4

    Tuscan Bread Soup

    Wanted to share a quick recipe with you today. It’s another one from Everyday Food: Fresh Flavors Fast. While the pasta dish I shared with you last week was definitely yummier than this one, I still really like this soup.

    tuscan bread soup web

    One quick note. You’re supposed to add 1-inch chunks of bread into the soup and simmer for 20 minutes or so. The theory is that the bread absorbs the broth and thickens the soup. We all agreed that the bread was too slimy. And I liked the broth soup before the bread supposedly thickened it. I think the best approach would be to make homemade croutons and top them on the soup when serving. If you really want to stay true to the soup, just make sure your bread pieces aren’t too big.

    Tuscan Bread Soup
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Soup
    Ingredients
    • 6 ounces country bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces (I used only ½ of an onion)
    • 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick pieces
    • 2 celery stalks, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
    • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (I used 2-3 tablespoon)
    • ½ head napa cabbage, halved lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (6 cups)
    • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth (I used vegetable broth to make it completely meatless. I also used about 1 additional cup than called for.)
    • 2 cups water (I think I did an extra cup or so)
    • 1 cup loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Spread bread pieces in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry, tossing half-way through, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. (Jane note: Next time I make this I will toss the bread with some olive oil, salt & pepper, then toast as directed.)
    2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add onion, carrots, celry and garlic; season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
    3. Add cabbage, chicken broth, the water and toasted bread. (Jane note: Next time I will add about ⅓ of the bread pieces at this point in the recipe and reserve the rest as a topping for the soup when served.) Simmer over medium heat until soup is thickened, 15-20 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, and stir in parsley.

     


  2. Thursday, April 15

    Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers

    Since we’re on a quest to eat less meat, I’ve decided that I need to find some good veggie burger recipes. Nate’s mom was raving about a vegetarian chickpea burger recipe, which she shared with me this week. I made them last night and they are Yum-O. (I just said that because it’s a Rachael Ray recipe. I promise never to say “Yum-O” again.) vegetarian chickpea burgers 1 web These vegetarian chickpea burgers have really great flavor, and they are super easy and fast to make. As with many homemade veggie burgers, handle with care so they don’t fall apart on you. Last night we topped ours with lettuce, tomato, avocado and sauteed mushrooms. While the mushrooms were tasty, I think next time I’ll switch them out for thinly sliced cucumber and sprouts…and I won’t forget the cheese, which I did this time. Phooey. I will definitely be trying other veggie burger recipes as well and will let you know how they go!

    Vegetarian Chickpea Burgers
     
    From Everyday with Rachael Ray via my mother-in-law Pat
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Vegetarian
    Ingredients
    • 1 15-oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
    • 1 4-oz can diced green chiles
    • ⅔ cup packed flat leaf parsley
    • ⅔ cup bread crumbs (Pat note: I use regular, flavored, Panko – whatever. Jane note: I used Panko last night)
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 tablespoons veggie oil (Pat note: I have used olive too)
    • 4 thin slices cheddar cheese
    • 4 burger buns
    • Ketchup, mayo or other toppings (Pat note: I never use these or the cheese or the buns. Jane note: she’s being totally serious here. ha!)
    Instructions
    1. Now… In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, chiles and parsley till finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the bread crumbs and s and p to taste (Jane note: I only did ~1/2 tsp salt – should have done more). Stir in the egg and form the 4 patties, each about ⅔ inch thick.
    2. Then… In a large skillet heat the oil over med low heat. Cook the burgers for 4 minutes then flip and cook for 3-5 minutes and add cheese if desired. Pat usually cooks till they are nice and golden brown. (Pat note: Don’t forget, you can shape them into fun designs, like fake turkey legs or letters for your kids!)
    3. Postscript: These are way easier to flip in the pan if you make them into mini-burgers. Click here for a follow-up post with more info on miniaturizing the burgers!

    vegetarian chickpeak burgers 2 web