Hi, everyone! No, I’m not dead, and yes, I will continue to blog. I’ve been a busy bee lately, but I’ve been cooking an awful lot and I have so many recipes waiting to be posted. The challenge is finding the time to post them! I’m going to do my best to post twice a week, though. Bear with me.
Recently, I signed up for a weekly produce delivery service. Every week, I get a big, beautiful bag of fresh, organic, locally-grown and seasonal produce. For me, this is better than going to the grocery store because it makes me try things I never would’ve tried otherwise, and it also forces me to be resourceful with my cooking. For example, last week one of the items I got was turnips. I would never buy turnips on a regular trip to the store—I don’t even think I’ve knowingly eaten turnips before this week.
So, when planning out my meals for the week, I looked for a turnip recipe. And then I found one in which I could use not only my turnips, but also a bunch of the other produce I got in my haul—potatoes, carrots, onions, leafy greens, and more. The best part is that this recipe is so adaptable; you can use pretty much whatever vegetables you have on hand. It’s so basic and so very healthy—you can pack all of your daily veggie servings into one bowl. Oh, and it’s super yummy. Wait, did I tell you? I like turnips.
I got the base of this recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything app (available in the App store for $4.99). I got an iPhone a couple weeks ago, and the first step in my induction to Smartphonedom was to download a bunch of apps, of course. Mostly, I got free ones; a couple for 99 cents. But then I saw this one. First of all, I love Mark Bittman. I’ve been wanting the book version of How to Cook Everything but haven’t picked it up yet. Second, when I saw the glowing reviews, it seemed like it might be worth $5.
Let’s just say, a better app investment was never before made. It includes literally thousands of recipes and variations on those recipes, plus overall cooking tips and instructions (for example: I made stir fry with cabbage the other day and had no idea how to core and shred a whole cabbage, and step-by-step illustrations are included in the app), searchable recipes, in-recipe timers, shopping lists, and on and on. (No, I’m not being compensated for endorsing this app. I just think it’s pretty cool.)
What I love about the recipes on the app (and in the book, I assume) is that they’re incredibly basic and easy to build upon. These are recipes everyone should have in their cooking arsenal. They’re endlessly variable and so healthful. I’ll stop going on about it now, but I’d highly recommend the app and, by proxy, the book. Give ‘em a look! Now, onto the food.
In my cast of characters: onion, turnips, potatoes, carrots, tomato, greens, parsley, olive oil, chicken broth, and (not shown) garlic.
First, heat your oil over medium heat. Then add your onion, carrots, and garlic (if you’re also using celery, add it at this point). Saute for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
Now dump in your hard vegetables (mine were potatoes and turnips). Season the mixture with salt and pepper at this point.
After cooking and stirring for a couple of minutes, add in your liquid (I used chicken stock + water) and tomato (I used canned). Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 15 minutes.
Now, add your soft vegetables and parsley. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes.
Then, taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Garnish with fresh Parmesan and parsley and serve.
Chunky Vegetable Soup
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything App
Serves 4 to 6
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, peeled and diced (I omitted this since I didn’t have any)
1 carrot, sliced evenly
1 1/2 to 2 cups hard vegetables, peeled if necessary and diced (I used 1 cup potatoes and 1 cup turnips; variations include winter squash, parsnips, etc.)
Salt and pepper
6 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, or water (I used 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock and 3 cups water)
1 peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato (canned is fine, include the juices)
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups soft vegetables (I used hydro head lettuce since it’s a lot like kale; you can also use green beans, cooked dried beans, zucchini, summer squash, or dark leafy greens like kale or collards, cut into smaller than 1/2″ dice)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Put 3 tablespoons of oil into a large, deep pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
Add the hard vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two, then add the stock and the tomato; bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring every now and then, until the vegetables are fairly soft and the tomato is broken up, about 15 minutes.
Add the soft vegetables and the parsley and adjust the heat once again so the mixture simmers. Cook until all the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with cheese, and serve.