Life-Affirming Soup

c4ee1114a26d11e39bd51230495cd073_8 The term "March" turns up on your calendar. Your one spindly spring flower falls over in the rain. Your L.A. Instagram friends post on the excitement of getting to wear rain boots and watch movies. You think it's cute (but kinda sad!). Life unfolds.

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So I'm getting ready to leave town tomorrow. But I wanted to tell you about this soup—because it's important. It's important if you've been cooped up all weekend and need something to give you courage. Spicy Sun Dried Tomato and White Bean with Chard, my friends, you should get on this.

I first slurped this stuff from a spoon at a holiday potluck I had at my house a few years back. The Coulons brought it over and served it up from a steaming vat.

I like how the title doesn't pull any punches with ingredients. But it also doesn't tell you how bright and warm it feels in your stomach—how thick and rib-sticking it is after you emulsify part of it in the blender and then stir that part into the rest for extra creaminess. This is a soup to fortify the spirit, if you believe in food being able to do that sort of thing—which I do.

*If I were you, I'd throw in twice as much red pepper flake—shit, maybe even three times! This is March and we NEED THAT HEAT.

ChefFeat_SunTomSoup_MED

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced (1 cup)
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can small white beans or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped, plus 2 Tbs. oil from jar
  • ½ bunch (6 oz.) Swiss chard, chopped
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil

1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook 1 minute, or until garlic is fragrant. Stir in onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, and rosemary, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until onions are soft.

2. Add broth, 1 can tomatoes, and beans. Scoop 1 cup mixture into food processor or blender, and add remaining can of tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and sun-dried tomato oil. Purée until smooth, stir mixture into soup, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 10 minutes.

3. Add Swiss chard and thyme; simmer 5 minutes more, or until chard is wilted. Remove pan from heat, and stir in basil.