It’s hard to believe that it’s actually February based on how the weather has been here in New York. It’s been a beautiful day here, but we’ll pretend it really is winter and make some soup today. This soup is from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network. It looked really good when she made it, so I thought I would give it a try and it fit nicely this week since we needed something for our meat-free meal this week. This recipe for Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup has few ingredients, only takes about 20 minutes to make, and only uses one pot. We’ll be having some crunchy dinner rolls from Rockland Bakery with our soup tonight. Anyone who lives in this area of New York (and many other places as well) knows how good the breads and rolls are at Rockland Bakery. The recipe calls for instant polenta in it, which only takes minutes to cook and it adds a nice, creamy texture to this soup.
Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or chopped
3 plum tomatoes, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cups chicken broth (I am using homemade [remember the chicken from Saturday?], but store-bought low sodium is fine)
1/3 cup instant polenta
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 6 minutes.
Add the parsley, thyme, garlic, tomatoes and zucchini, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the polenta and cook until the soup thickens and the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
That’s a fast and easy meal (and it smells great by the way). This recipe is only for 4 servings, so if you want more, you could easily double the recipe to have extra for a bigger meal. With this meal, there is only 1 pot to clean, and the soup bowls, and that’s it, the meal is done, cleaned up and put away so you can go on with the rest of your evening.
I feel like I cheated today since there is hardly anything to write about with this recipe. Tomorrow’s recipe, another Sean choice, is Stir-Fried Pork with Peppers and Pineapple. I’ll be using pork loin for the meat and canned pineapple. The fresh pineapple just didn’t feel good, so I went with canned this time. Make sure you get the canned in juice and not syrup if you’re making this because you’ll need the juice as well. We’ll be making Fried Rice tomorrow night too to go with the meal. If you don’t want to make rice specifically for fried rice, if you have any leftovers from last night’s stir fry (or from any other meal you have had rice in), use that since it’s already cooked and chilled. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions or recipes you might like to see, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Enjoy the soup and all the extra free time you have since the meal cooks so quickly (I may get to read a bit tonight!) and check in tomorrow to see the next Sean meal!