Recipe Corner: Rustic Cauliflower Vegetable Soup

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Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, chopped into medium pieces

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil (to taste)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

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Salt, black pepper, paprika, dried basil, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes

8 cups water and low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups cooked white beans (cannellini, great northern, or other beans), drained

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

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1 medium baking potato, peeled, cut in chunks

1 cup each diced zucchini, celery, and green beans (or your choice of vegetables)

1 cup dry pasta (elbow, angel hair, etc.)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

Finely chopped parsley, shredded basil as garnish

Olive oil

Preparation:

In a large soup pot, sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are lightly browned.  Stir in the tomato paste and add the spices to taste.

Fill the pot to the halfway mark with water and broth, bring to a full boil, and add the cauliflower, white beans, carrots, lemon juice, diced tomatoes, potato, and choice of vegetables.  Add more water (or broth) to cover the vegetables, stir, and cook for 35-45 minutes on medium-low heat until vegetables are tender.

Add the pasta, parsley, and ricotta cheese, and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring. Pour hot soup into bowls and garnish with parsley and basil; drizzle with olive oil.

Serves 6-8.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee newspaper, Sunset magazine, Cooking Light magazine, and at http://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/

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