The inspiration for this soup came from the strangest place. A few weeks ago I was helping my mom at a hospital and I grabbed a quick lunch in the cafeteria. They had a "mozzarella soup," which was basically a thick broth-based soup full of veggies that you would top with cheese.
I fell in love with it.
The soup base was a wonderful combination of mushrooms, zucchini and white beans. It totally hit the spot with or without the cheese. So I tucked the idea in the back of my brain and waited for a spark of inspiration at home to re-create it.
Well, the spark happened this week when I made the best bone broth from a chicken I roasted for Sunday dinner. I let the bones simmer overnight, chilled it in the fridge, skimmed the fat and was left with an amazingly rich broth.
I've been buying more bone-in cuts of all meats and doing this more. It's cheaper and I freeze the leftover stock in bags so I can pull it out whenever I need it. I haven't bought broth in months! (Oh and yes, I interchange the words stock and broth all the time.)
The great thing about this soup is it's REALLY simple. No crazy spices and you can eat it straight up or build a meal out of it. The first time I served it with grilled cheese for dinner. The whole family liked the broth but the veggies were a bit too much for the kids. The second time I ate it topped with some grated cheddar, which complemented it perfectly. The third time I added some leftover chicken I had in the fridge to make it more a complete meal. It was really good all three ways!
Here's what I did...
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 8oz baby portobello (crimini) mushrooms
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size chunks (the bigger size will help them not get too mushy)
- 4 cups stock, broth, whatever. 🙂
- 1 15 oz can northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind (or 1 oz grated parmesan)
Heat the oil in a soup pot and sauté the onion.
Add the mushrooms and let them cook and reduce a bit before adding the zucchini.
Add the broth, beans and rind.
(I've been purposefully buying non-shredded cheese lately because it's cheaper and has less added ingredient purely to reduce clumps. I also like that I can get the kids involved in dinner with something as simple as grating, and with hard cheeses like parmesan you get the awesome rind to add to soups! I already have 2 in my freezer for this exact purpose.)
Adding the rind creates a wonderful flavor. It doesn't completely dissolve (maybe it would if I cooked it long enough), but it softens and you can remove it just before serving. You can also eat it. I took a few nibbles while cleaning the kitchen. It's super yummy.
Bring the soup to a light boil and continue to cook for at least 20 minutes to let the flavors merge.
As I said, enjoy it straight up or top with cheddar or mozzarella, both complement the flavors really well!
|Servings||Amt per Serving|
|100||3g||4g||old: 1.5||new: 2|