“Meatless Monday…Mixed bean, Leek, Carrot and Celery Soup with Baby Pasta

After a fun filled weekend of eating and drinking, its nice to enjoy a comforting soup that is filled with vegetables and protein.  This Bean Leek Soup is the perfect meal for a light and healthy  “Meatless Monday” lunch or dinner.

Mixed Bean, Leek, Carrot and Celery Soup with Baby Pasta

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 large leeks cut lengthwise in half and chopped

2 cups chopped celery

3 cups chopped carrots

2 cloves of garlic chopped

2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil

1/2 mild hot pepper

6 cups of vegetable broth

2 cups of Cranberry or Pinto Beans canned, drained

2 cups of Cannellini Beans canned, drained (note….this is a rare exception  using canned beans, try to use  high quality beans)

3 Tbls chopped fresh mixed herbs, thyme, basil and flat leaf parsley

1/2 lb small pasta i.e. Ditalini Rigati

Parmesan Cheese to taste

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions

-Add olive oil, garlic and hot pepper lightly brown

-Add leeks, stirring into the garlic mixture, saute leeks until they start to soften and the flavors meldIMG_1090.JPG

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-When the leeks soften add the celery and carrotsIMG_1094.JPG

Add Both beans, sea salt to taste and fresh ground pepperIMG_1124.JPG

Add the broth and mixed herbsIMG_1125.JPG

-Bring mixture to boil, lower heat and simmer (low boil) for at least 45 minutes

-Bring a small pot of water to boil, add pasta and cook al dente…. at least 1 minute less than time indicated. (note- I do not boil the pasta in the soup broth since it will absorb the liquid ) Drain the pasta

-Remove 3 cups of the soup mixture and place in a mixing bowl, with an immersion blender, blend mixture until smooth and creamyIMG_1127.JPG

-Pour blended mixture back into the soup pot

-Add the pasta to the SoupIMG_1128.JPG

-Serve hot or tepid with Parmesan Cheesefullsizeoutput_26

Buon Appetito!!

Mickey

 

 

Meatless Monday….Greens and Beans Soup with Garlic Bread Croutons

If you grew up in an Italian American home, you probably have eaten or are  familiar with “Greens and Beans”.  The greens, escarole or Swisschard  are cooked in a garlicky oil mixed with white beans.  I have taken this dish one step further making it into a soup, topping it with a garlic Parmesan crouton. It is a filling flavorful soup for lunch or dinner on a Meatless Monday!!

Greens and Beans Soup with Garlic Parmesan Croutons

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A soupy version of a favorite, Green’s and Beans

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs a of cleaned chopped Swisschard or Escarole

4 cups Cannellini Beans ( not dried)

1 hot pepper chopped (note- peppers have different heat this is to taste)

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

4 scallions finely diced

2 garlic cloves finely diced

6 cups of vegetable broth

sea salt

pepper

For the bread

1 loaf  of crusty bread Italian

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbls fresh flat leaf parsley chopped

3/4-1 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

-In a soup pot, add the olive oil, garlic, scallions and pepper sauté until garlic is lightly browned

-add the chopped greens, the beans and the brothIMG_0879

-add sea salt and pepper to taste

-bring to boil, and simmer for 35-45 minutes

Garlic Parmesan Croutons

-slice the bread in half or thirds depending on size

-in a prep bowl add olive oil and the crushed garlic stir

-with a pastry brush paint the bread with the oil mixture then dust with the parsleyIMG_0880

-Spread the Parmesan on the bread generously

-place the bread under the broiler until golden brown, let cool and cut into cubes

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-ladle the soup into bowls, add the Croutons and server

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Buon Appetito!!!

Split Pea Soup with Spring Onions and Thyme

Another favorite soup to welcome the season.  This Split pea soup  is a light vegetarian version, few ingredients,  easy to prepare and flavorful.  Great for lunch or dinner served with a sprig of fresh thyme… Spring is in the air!!!!

Split Pea Soup with Spring Onions and Fresh Thyme

  • Servings: 2-4
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A Fresh, light Springtime favorite

Ingredients

-1 cup of split peas

-2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

-1 garlic clove

-2 large carrots

-3 celery stalks

-4 spring onions

-2 scallions

-7 cups broth, vegetable or chicken

-course grind sea salt

-fresh ground pepper

-6 sprigs of fresh thyme

Directions

-In a deep soup pot add the olive oil, finely chop the spring onions, garlic and the scallions and add to the oil.  Saute on medium/low heat until the onions are translucent about 3-5 minutes careful not to burn.IMG_0837

-Dice the celery and carrotsIMG_0835

-add the chopped celery, carrots and the split peas to the onions

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Add the broth, sea salt, pepper and thyme cook simmer on a medium/low heat. (Note- unsoaked peas can take 1-2 hours to cook you need to watch the and maintain the broth level, if you presoak the peas cooking time is around 45 minutes.)    Cook the soup until the peas are soft to the bite.IMG_0843

-remove approximately 2 cups and blend with a immersion blender, mix the creamed soup back into the pot

-serve with a drizzle of olive oilIMG_0846

As always I look forward to your feedback!

Buon Appetito!!

Veal meatballs with simple tomato sauce

#whatsmickeycooking’s  very first recipe blog has to be Meatballs. Growing up they  were, and still today  are  our all time favorite food.  This is Italo-American comfort food at it’s best!!

These meatballs have a history in our Italian/American family.  The recipe,  from my paternal Grandmother was revised and updated by my Mother ( my Mom says my GM purposefully left out key ingredients!!).   Now , this is my version of my Mom’s recipe. They are great made little, served as appetizers  with a dipping sauce, medium sized served with pasta or like these served alone as a main course with  vegetables and salad.

Veal Meatballs with a simple tomato sauce,

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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This is a fast, easy recipe that everyone loves.

This recipe can also be made using a combination of ground beef and ground veal.  Ask your butcher to grind the meat mixture twice.

Ingredients

-1 3/4 Pounds or 800 grams of Ground Veal

-3 Garlic cloves minced or pressed

-10 Lg Basil leaves

-5 Lg Eggs

-3/4 Cups of Grated Parmigiano Reggiano  Cheese

-3/4 Cups of fine breadcrumbs

-sea salt (fine)

-pepper

-extra virgin olive oil

Directions

-In a medium sized mixing bowl add the ground veal, the cheese, and  the breadcrumbs.

– Using either a blender or immersion blender mix the eggs, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.  Blend well until the basil is completely blended with the eggs.

-Pour the blended mixture into the mixing bowl of veal , mix together well, but don’t overwork the meat, you might need to adjust the  breadcrumbs.  The mixture should take the shape of a large ball.

– In a non-stick skillet large enough to hold 12 meatballs, add oil  (note- I try to use as little as possible we are just browning these).  Roll the meat into the size or style  of meatball you would like (note- you can also shape them in hamburger shape).  When the oil is hot add the meatballs being very careful.  Brown the meatballs on all sides.

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Carefully turn them to prevent breakage.  When they are rust colored they are finished browning.  Being very careful place each on a plate to rest while you construct the Simple Tomato Sauce (Note- keep the pan scrapings for the construction of your sauce)….  Recipe to follow.

-When tomato sauce is mixed, gently place the meatballs along with their juices back into the pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes covered, until the center of the meat is cooked.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  They’re great both ways.

Enjoy, Buon Appetito !!

 

  • Servings: 3 1/2 cups or 700 grams
  • Difficulty: easy.
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This simple sauce is used with meats/meatballs that are already seasoned.  It’s simplicity will not overwhelm the meat/fish

Ingredients

-3 1/2 cups or 1 bottle of tomato sauce (note- I use Mutti  Passata di Pomodoro, which can be found at Italian specialty markets)

-1 large garlic clove crushed or diced

-1 1/2 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil

-Pinch of sugar

-Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

– Lightly brown the crushed garlic in the olive oil,  then carefully add the tomato sauce, add sugar, salt and pepper..(note- for above recipe, use the pan used for browning, along with it’s juices…add the garlic then follow the recipe as above, add meatballs and juices back into pan cover and cook.

-simmer 15 minutes