I’m going to a taping of the Martha Stewart Show tomorrow! I’m beyond excited! I can’t wait to see her in person and see the beautiful! I’ll let you all know what episode it is and when it will air so you can watch for me in the audience! Thank goodness it’s not today, though. It’s 92 degrees today in New York and my husband and I haven’t gotten around to installing air conditioning or getting fans or anything because we definitely didn’t anticipate the heat arriving so quickly. Thankfully it’ll be back down to 80 degrees tomorrow, then in the 60s on Friday. I wish it would always be 60 degrees outside! I’m not a fan of the heat, obviously, or else I would have stayed in Arizona.
Here is yet another example of my attempt in adding more vegetables into my diet. Trying to make more vegetable based meals is not only healthy, it’s cheaper than buying meat for everything I make! I’ve been doing it often enough that Kramer will willingly eat a meat-free dish – a miracle! I really liked this soup because not only is it very filling, but it’s got tons of different textures and flavors. I added in onions, garlic, bell peppers, beans, and a lightly creamy broth to go along with it all, by adding a bit of sour cream to the soup. It really makes a world of difference and adds a touch of richness to the vegetables. I also used an herb that I don’t use very often, but it’s one of my favorites: savory. Savory is a very popular herb in Italy, where it is most commonly paired with beans. It’s also popular in Germany, where the word for savory is bohenkraut, which translates into bean herb. It’s a bold herb with an almost peppery taste, and yes, indeed, the herb inspired the word that we use to describe foods that are not sweet: savory! Surprise, surprise. Summer savory is reminiscent of mint and thyme, while the winter variety has a stronger taste. Many people like to use savory in dishes when they are trying to watch his or her salt intake, because the boldness of the herb helps to make up for the lack of actual salt. Savory is also an essential ingredient in the ever popular Herbs de Provence. If you haven’t given savory a try yet, pick some up at your local grocery store and add it to some of your favorite dishes. I’m sure you’ll love what it brings to the table.
The ingredients. I only had beef broth on hand, so I used that, but I would much prefer to have used vegetable broth.
Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and add in the onion and bell pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then add in the garlic and turn the heat down to medium. Saute for another 5 minutes, until fragrant.
When the garlic is turning golden and is fragrant, add in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, savory (optional), salt, pepper, and the beans. Bring everything to a light boil and allow to cook for another 10 minutes or so, stirring often.
Place 3 tablespoons of sour cream in a small bowl, then add in about 1/4 cup of the soup’s hot broth, and whisk together. This will temper the sour cream so that when you add it to the soup, it will be smooth and not chunky when you add it to the rest of the soup.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes, with juices from the can
- 14.5 ounces can low-sodium vegetable broth
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used ½ teaspoon because I like things a bit hotter)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1½ teaspoons ground savory
- 2 cans low-sodium beans (I used black and cannellini beans)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- Heat your olive oil in a large pot, then add in the diced onion and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and add in the garlic. Saute for another 5 minutes.
- Add in the tomatoes, vegetables broth, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, savory, beans, salt, and pepper. Bring everything to a light boil, then cook for 10 minutes or so, until the soup has thickened slightly.
- Spoon the sour cream into a small bowl, then add about ¼ cup of the soup to the sour cream. Whisk together to temper, so that the shock of the heat to the sour cream won't cause it to become chunky in the soup, and then add the tempered sour cream to the pot. Stir to combine, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve. Serves 4.