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Green Bean Soup with Cilantro

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This hearty Green Bean Soup with cilantro and Parmesan cheese is a recipe I look forward to making every September. It is a simple soup but always seems new and fresh because I only make it at the end of summer when green beans are at their best.

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A Seasonal Strategy – Green Bean Soup

Cooking with seasonal ingredients is a great strategy to ensure lots of variety to your everyday meals. As soon as green beans are readily available I have a dozen recipes that come to mind. Today this hearty Green Bean Soup is the one I am making. I enjoy a dinner of soup, salad and homemade buttermilk biscuits. A little leftover soup is good too for lunches during the week.

Real Parmesan Cheese, No Label Required

Do you buy real Parmesan cheese? I mean Parmigiano-Reggiano from Italy?

In my early twenties I visited Parma, Italy. I had a little book titled European menu reader that listed specialty foods from all parts of Europe. I was determined to try as many of these local specialties as I could . Parmesan cheese in the town of Parma was on my list. Seeing the huge stacks of massive wheels of cheese was new and exciting to me at the time. The taste was amazing.

Of course this cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, is now readily available but you pay a good price for it. A slightly less expensive but similar cheese that is made nearby is called Grana Padano. I use both of these cheeses all the time and save the rinds in my freezer. I add to the bag of rinds as I use up my cheese. When I make soup or stew that could use cheese I add a few rinds for flavour. If you love cheese this is a great little kitchen hack.


Cookware for Making Soup

Cookware is an investment. You don’t need the most expensive set of pots but there is a wide variety of affordable cookware available and many items you purchase will last for decades. Notice what you like and choose wisely when you buy.

For the everyday home cook like me the largest pot in a typical set of pots is usually perfect for making soup. Although recipes sometimes say a Dutch oven or a soup pot they probably don’t really mean that. A modern Dutch oven is like the gorgeous Le Creuset enamelled cast iron pot. They are heavy and expensive but will last for a lifetime of cooking. For a fraction of the cost you can buy a lesser quality enamelled cast iron Dutch oven and although I’m not sure, I think it would last at least half a lifetime.

Some recipes will call for a soup pot, also called a stockpot. Technically this is an extra large, bigger than what comes with a set of pots. They are ideal for an annual jam or salsa-making party, or special events like a lobster boil. If you cook for large groups you should own one. Many people would never really need one because to make an everyday soup recipe, the largest pot in a typical set of pots is perfect.


So if you like green beans give this hearty Green Bean Soup with Cilantro a try. Let me know what you thought in the comments below.

Ingredients

2 cups chopped onion
¼ cup olive oil
4 cups GF chicken stock
4 cups water
14-oz can stewed tomatoes
1 lb green beans cut into ½ inch lengths
2½ cups cauliflower, separated into small flowerets
½ lb red potatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

1
In a large soup pot heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2
Add stock, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil.
3
Add beans, cauliflower, potatoes, salt and pepper. Bring back to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
4
Transfer 1½ cups of cooked vegetables and ½ cup liquid to a food processor. Add garlic and cilantro, puree until smooth. Pour mixture back into soup pot and add Parmesan cheese.
5
Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve.

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