I must confess, I made this soup several weeks ago when it was still February and cold and dreary. Now we are a couple of days into spring so I thought I’d better hurry up and post this before its out of season.
Usually I do quite fine eating seasonal vegetables for most of the winter. It’s certainly easier to eat in season when the only tomatoes available are mealy and the only peppers available cost five dollars a pound (or some ridiculous amount). However, towards the end of winter I get a sudden and overwhelming urge for something that tastes fresh and green. What’s a girl to do? Well, this year, I made this soup, which is still based on seasonal vegetables but has a kick of fresh herbs and lemony harissa added at the end to perk it up.
By the way, this recipe makes a BIG pot of soup–great for freezing some in small amounts for future lunches. If you don’t want quite so much, make only half.
In a large pot, start by sweating off:
2 onions, chopped
6 carrots, medium dice
2 rutabagas, medium dice
Once your sauteing vegetables become aromatic, add in:
4 T. garlic, minced
and saute a few more minutes.
2 c. dried pre-soaked beans
2 qts. water
Alternatively, you could use 4 c. precooked beans, in which case I would use about half the water. Let simmer until the beans are tender, 1-2 hours.
Once the beans are tender, add:
1/2 a head of cauliflower, cut into pieces
1/2 a head of broccoli, cut into pieces
1 1/2 qts. tomato sauce
1 qt. vegetable or chicken stock
I wait to add the tomato sauce and stock until this point because the acid and salt will prevent the beans from plumping up nicely. For more on this, see here. Let simmer about 45 minutes, or until the cauliflower and broccoli is tender but not mushy (unless that’s how you prefer your vegetables).
1/2 a Napa cabbage, finely shredded
4 T. Mustapha’s Moroccan harissa
I specified the brand of harissa because, while this harissa is spicy, it is more lemony than anything else. In my experience, other harissas are spicier. If you are using another brand of harissa, you might want to use less and add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice.
Salt & pepper to taste.
Garnish with a generous amount of:
Parsley and cilantro, freshly chopped