European Peasant-Style Vegetable Soup Model

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European Peasant-Style Vegetable Soup Model

European Peasant-Style Vegetable Soup Model
European Peasant-Style Vegetable Soup Model

This is a model for a soup, rather than a replica of something traditional. The list of ingredients is long, but you can use as few as three vegetables with good results.

Ingredients

Meats (choose one)

– 4 confit Pekin duck thighs, or 2 confit mullard duck thighs, meat pulled off the bone and coarsely chopped.

– ½ pound prosciutto end, cut into ½-inch dice.

– ½ pound pancetta, cut into 1-inch strips.

Fats (choose one)

– 3 tablespoons olive oil, rendered duck fat, or the fat rendered from the pancetta.

Slow-Cooking Vegetables (choose one or more)

– 2 onions, chopped.

– 1 large carrot, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced crosswise.

– 1 turnip, peeled and diced.

– 2 cups dried beans, soaked for 4 hours in cold water and drained.

Liquids, Tomatoes, and Slow-Cooking Herbs (choose one or more)

– Broth or water.

– Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped.

– Bouquet garni.

Starches (choose one)

– 1 cup long-grain rice such as basmati or jasmine.

– 1 to 2 cups dried pasta such as macaroni, orecchiette, or ziti.

Fast-Cooking Vegetables (choose one or more)

– Green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch sections.

– Peas, shelled, or if frozen, thawed.

– Fresh shell beans such as fava or lima.

– Kale, stems removed and leaves shredded.

– Swiss chard, stems cut into cubes and leaves shredded.

– Spinach, chopped or cut into chiffonade.

– Sorrel, chopped.

Flavorful Finishes (choose one or more)

– Garlic, minced and then crushed with the flat side of the knife.

– Finely chopped fresh herbs such as mint, tarragon, or parsley.

– Pesto or pistou.

Herb butter.Meats (choose one)

– 4 confit Pekin duck thighs, or 2 confit mullard duck thighs, meat pulled off the bone and coarsely chopped.

– ½ pound prosciutto end, cut into ½-inch dice.

– ½ pound pancetta, cut into 1-inch strips.

Fats (choose one)

– 3 tablespoons olive oil, rendered duck fat, or the fat rendered from the pancetta.

Slow-Cooking Vegetables (choose one or more)

– 2 onions, chopped.

– 1 large carrot, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced crosswise.

– 1 turnip, peeled and diced.

– 2 cups dried beans, soaked for 4 hours in cold water and drained.

Liquids, Tomatoes, and Slow-Cooking Herbs (choose one or more)

– Broth or water.

– Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped.

– Bouquet garni.

Starches (choose one)

– 1 cup long-grain rice such as basmati or jasmine.

– 1 to 2 cups dried pasta such as macaroni, orecchiette, or ziti.

Fast-Cooking Vegetables (choose one or more)Green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch sections

– Peas, shelled, or if frozen, thawed.

– Fresh shell beans such as fava or lima.

– Kale, stems removed and leaves shredded.

– Swiss chard, stems cut into cubes and leaves shredded.

– Spinach, chopped or cut into chiffonade.

– Sorrel, chopped.

Flavorful Finishes (choose one or more)

– Garlic, minced and then crushed with the flat side of the knife.

– Finely chopped fresh herbs such as mint, tarragon, or parsley.

– Pesto or pistou.

– Herb butter.

Instructions

Step 1:
Choose one of the meats and cook it in your fat of choice with the slowcooking vegetables (except the beans, which, if you are using, are added along with the liquid) for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and shiny. Add the liquid to cover and the dried beans (if using), nestle the bouquet garni in the middle of the pot, and gently simmer partially covered until the vegetables and beans are almost done. Add any starch, cook until almost done, and then add whatever green vegetables you like and simmer until they are done.

Step 2:
Finally, decide on the finish. If you are using garlic or herbs, whisk them into the soup. If you are using pesto or pistou, whisk only half of it into the soup and pass the rest at the table. And if you are using herb butter, top each serving with a dollop.

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