Cannellini and Beet Green Soup with Feta
Let me tell you how my day was. It was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Nobody made me take a late lunch break. No one threw out the food I’d brought for lunch. I just waited too long to eat all on my own. When it came time to make the soup for this post, I was waaaaay too hungry to wait for it to finish cooking. So I ate a big pile of crackers with peanut butter and jam on them.
And then I made the soup.
It’s a simple one, made with humble ingredients. Beginning with a mirepoix, which is just a fancy way of saying the traditional French flavor base for many dishes: carrot, celery, and onion. This soup included. Not because it’s a fussy soup. It’s just what I had on hand.
Veggies sit for a bit in a hot pot (are you saying “hot pot hot pot hot pot hot pot” out loud now too? No? Ok.) with some salt and pepper. They are stirred occasionally. They get all tender and delicious. Garlic is added. Because it always should be. Then a bit of red wine vinegar is used to deglaze the pan.
I made a zillion cups of veggie stock the other week. I wondered how I’d use it all before I had enough veggie scraps to make more. Then two of the jars cracked in the freezer (which I’d found as I prepared for this soup, oh yay) and I only had half a zillion to use.
I don’t know if the lesson is to not use glass containers for veggie stock in the freezer. It was cold, and I left plenty of room at the top, these ones just expanded sideways for some reason… Bummer.
The stock was partially frozen still, even after defrosting in the fridge for a day. No big deal if it is. It’ll boil eventually.
And the house will get all warm and cozy and soup smelling-y.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet, in this post, how much I love that it’s finally cold.
Cold being a relative term – I’m talking cold like it’s in the 50’s at night, not cold like my brother, Josh, is experiencing, where it’s -19C/-2F.
But, it still needs to be said.
I love this season.
I love the root veggies that I’m totally craving. The warm comfort foods that don’t make me sweat while I’m eating. The oven that can be turned on without having the AC on
full blast at all.
This soup would actually work well in the summer months. It feels light, while being full of beany protein, subtle oregano, and bright beet greens. But, let’s forget about summer for now. I’m totally into this chilly, cloudy weather. It makes me want to skip with glee.
The soup is finished off with a pat of butter. If you’re making this a vegan version, just drizzle some good quality olive oil onto each bowlful as you serve it (and skip the part later on where I talk about cheese… or use your favorite vegan cheeeeeese).
Butter gives the soup a glossy, creamy feel.
The last thing you must do before the soup can be eaten: top with a bit of feta. Trust me. This makes the soup. (Vegans, remember your instructions from before?)
Of course, it might have also been great with a huge stack of crackers for dipping. But, I ate all the crackers at first lunch. It would be wonderful with a freshly made baguette, but we’re fresh out. So, it’s just good on its own, standing at the kitchen island, eating as if I hadn’t just eaten thirty five pb&j crackerwiches.
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped (or mixture of carrot and radish)
- to taste, salt
- to taste, pepper
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 T red wine vinegar
- 4-5 C vegetable stock
- 1-15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 t dried oregano (or 1 T fresh), crushed (could substitute 1 T fresh dill, chopped)
- 1 C (1 bunch) beet greens (washed well, including stems, to save for stock), chopped (or kale, spinach, or chard)
- 1/2 T lemon juice
- 1 t unsalted butter
- feta, crumbled, for topping
- Heat a soup pot. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion through pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for about 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vinegar and cook for another minute.
- Add the stock, beans, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the beet greens and cook for 10 minutes more.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and then lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Serve topped with feta.