Happy New Year! Resolutions and goals are all the talk right now, and like I do every year, I've made one of my own.
Now this resolution has been a long time coming. If you know me personally then you'll understand, and if not, well let me just say I'm a little unorganized. I've always been a fly-by-the-seat-kinda girl and you know what? It worked well for me, all my life, until I had kids. After kids, well let's just say I've been in denial, about 15 years of denial to be exact. During this time I've refused to write anything down, insisting that I can simply remember every appointment, after school activity, and obligation for everyone in my household simply because I used to be able to back in the day. You can imagine how well this worked out for me!
So, after years of missing appointments and various deadlines, I've decided it is time to GET ORGANIZED! To help myself with this task I bought myself one of those fancy planners that all of my friends carry, and will therefore submit to being an adult who has to consult her planner, prior to making plans. Ugh!
Now while this planner is somewhat of a chore to me, the one thing I do like about it is the meal planning section. Meal planning is something that I do like to do.
My current meal planning goal is to use up foods in my freezer and pantry. So this week I have planned a menu that helps me to clear things out. Lucky for me, there are a lot of special and unique things that I had been saving, so this menu plan was quite fun!
Spanish chorizo is hard to find around my parts, so when I was lucky enough to find some, I held on to it for way too long (I like to procrastinate too). Lucky for me it kept well and came in handy for making a recipe that had been on my to-do list forever, Curtis Stone's White Bean and Chorizo Soup.
A simple glance might have you thinking this is a tomato-based soup, but it is not! The soup gets its reddish color based solely on the chorizo itself - now how's that for flavor! The combination of the chorizo and the white beans is quite hearty and satisfying. We found this soup to be great right after it was made, but even better the next day! Perfect with a side of crusty bread for dunking.
Wishing everyone luck with their new year's resolutions!
White Bean & Chorizo Soup w/ Crostini
Adapted from Curtis Stone's Website
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces smoked Spanish chorizo links,
(casings removed, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4" half moons)
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carots, cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/2 inch thick round slices
2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
3/4 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
Two (15-oz.) cans small white beans, drained and rinsed
demi baguette, cut on diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices
extra virgin olive oil, for serving
Heat a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then add the chorizo and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5minutes, or until tender. Add the carrots, celery, fennel, garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Stir in the broth and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Stir in the beans and simmer gently for about 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove and discard the thyme and rosemary stems.
Meanwhile, brush the baguette slices with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toast in a toaster oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Ladle the soup into soup bowls. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve with crostini.
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