Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Red Pepper, Bean, and Potato Soup

"Use what you have" night tonight and what possessed me to use great northern beans with potatoes? I have no idea. Soups are so much fun because you can do whatever you want. You don't like spinach? Leave it out. You prefer escarole or kale? Add that in. You don't like red peppers? Well...I wouldn't leave those out. But you can if you want. Honestly, the crucial ingredients that make this soup extra special are the red peppers, potatoes, beans, scallions, red pepper flakes, and half and half. Oh, and of course the cheese. I used gruyere cheese but since it's so darn expensive, parmesan or romano will be just fine. I used parmesan for soup leftovers and it was delicious.

1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
2 cans of great northern beans (cannelini) rinsed and drained
1 small onion, diced
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 pre-washed bag of spinach leaves
2 bay leaves
a pinch of red pepper flakes
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (not the powdered stuff)
1 carton of unsalted chicken broth
1 cup of water
3/4 cup of half and half (don't use non-fat)
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 potatoes, diced, skin on-Yukon Gold potatoes
1 stalk of green onions (scallions), diced
gruyere cheese, shredded

In a large pot on medium heat, saute the onion, red bell pepper, red pepper flakes, carrots, bay leaves, and olive oil. Saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add potatoes, chicken broth, water and bring to a boil.

Add the beans, spinach leaves and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are nearly cooked. Add half and half, grated nutmeg and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes.

Serve with gruyere cheese and green onions on top.

This soup is great for leftovers the next day. Enjoy!

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