This post is dedicated to my friend Annette. I know she reads my blog and she’s probably noticed that this is my second soup post in just a few short weeks. Why would she notice, you ask? Because I’ve always told her that I didn’t like soup.
(Get your gasps of disbelief out of the way now.)
It’s true. For a long time I really didn’t like it. Well, let me rephrase that — I didn’t prefer it. I’d eat soup if it was served to me, but it wasn’t anything I’d go out of my way to order at a restaurant or make at home. In fact, I was always surprised when people would gush about how much they loved it. I guess I just couldn’t get past the bad memories of sick days and unsavory chicken bits (you know what I’m talking about).
…or any of the other amazing soups I enjoyed this year that made me realize how much steaming liquid potential can live inside a bowl. Now I don’t only just like soup, but I actually want to make it. Huge.
So Annette, thank you for always trying to convince me that soup could be (and is) awesome. It finally stuck. This recipe is for you (and Dave — it’s vegan!).
1/4 cup (a large handful) flat leaf parsley, chopped (for garnish)
How you do it:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss chopped heirloom tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Put on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning once or twice, for 40 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot, celery, paprika, cumin and chili powder and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Stir in vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, whole grain rice blend, white beans and bay leaves. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or until rice is cooked through. (Note: the soup will thicken as it cooks.)
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each portion with freshly chopped flat leaf parsley before serving.
It’s almost that time of year. You know what I’m talking about.
Oh, and crock-pot season.
I have to admit that I’m not crock-pot crazy like some other people I know. I’d much prefer to slow cook something in the oven for 8 hours in a beautiful Le Creuset dutch oven, but let’s be honest — that’s not practical. At all. And for the times where you just don’t have time, the crock-pot is a pretty good stand-in.
I tend to use my crock-pot much more in the fall than any other season. Probably because I spend most of my Sunday’s outside watching my crazy husband do this.
Cyclocross. And yes, it’s as ridiculous as it looks. But as someone who tried it last year, trust me — it’s freakin’ hard. My efforts are much better spent heckling from the sidelines. (If you’re feeling extra ambitious in your video watching, you can see my hubs do a header into a sandpit at the 7:18 mark — makes me laugh every time.)
Anyway, back to this recipe. What impressed me the most was that the pork loin stayed sliceable (aka, didn’t completely fall apart like most other meats that are cooked in a crock-pot) and was very moist. A great Sunday dinner — especially after a day of cyclocross.
Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
About an hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze a few times during the last hour of cooking. Slice the pork and serve with the remaining glaze drizzled over the pork.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
What you need:
8 ounces of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
How you do it:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast on a baking sheet until tender and lightly browned, approximately 15 to 18 minutes depending on the size of your Brussels sprouts.