Do you ever see a cookbook and just have that feeling that it's going to be filled with sheer genius? When I was at a book sale at the end of the summer, I saw Jamie Oliver's The Naked Chef and knew that there would be something special inside. I find Jamie Oliver inspiring. He makes these wonderfully hearty, healthy dishes in a sustainable way. He has inspired me to be more conscious about my food consumption and purchases. When I got this cookbook I read it in a night. He is incredible. He has a tomato soup recipe that doesn't require milk or cream and is out of this world. I just want to cook my way through this entire book. I know that every recipe will be incredible. This particular recipe is his minestrone. It is so hearty and satisfying. It has become a staple in my freezer and I make it for everyone!This recipe is like the big cheese of vegetables... err, right. You will need to chop 3 carrots, 2 leeks, 5 ribs of celery, and 2 red onions to start, 2 cloves of garlic, and a tablespoon (or more) of fresh rosemary. Heat some olive oil in a pan and saute it for about fifteen minutes or until they just start to get tender.
It will smell incredible. I promise. Then you will need to add a 24 oz can of drained tomatoes. Now this is where I get excited. You may remember my post on canning tomatoes. Well, I have been saving these cans for a special occasion because I'm crazy and I want to savor them. So, obviously, I used a jar in this soup. And oh buddy, good decision.
As you may have been able to gather from my blabbering, I really am proud of my tomatoes. Anyhow, you will need tomatoes of some kind. Add them to the soup and cook for just a minute. Then add 8 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock to make it vegetarian. Now Jamie Oliver only calls for 3 cups, but I added more because I like it very soupy and less stew-y. Also add 1/2 to a whole head of cabbage. Simmer covered for about 20-25 minutes. Then add 6 ounces of spaghetti (I used orzo) and some fresh basil and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Make sure the cabbage is tender before you turn the heat off. Season to taste.
Serve with some parmesan cheese.
I honestly just love this soup more than most things. I love what Jamie Oliver stands for and I hope that I can help his Food Revolution in some way, even if it's just through this blog. My final words are this: pizza may possibly be declared a vegetable. If you are also mortified by this, then you will love Jamie Oliver as much as I do. The connection is there I promise.
28 ounce can of tomatoes, drained
5 ribs of celery
2 red onions
1/2 to a whole head of cabbage
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (Jamie Oliver also suggests ham stock)
a couple of handfuls of torn basil
6 oz spaghetti (orzo)
salt and pepper