Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dinner for Two: Brothy in Brooklyn!

Many months ago, Julia and I shared this terrific parmesan broth soup at Marlow & Sons in Williamsburg. It was light, flavorful, nutty, truly exquisite, and both of us have been dreaming of it ever since. Sadly, we've never caught it on their menu again, so we're left with only the lovely, fading memory of that soup and nothing more... 
Until today! Julia was just telling me about this parmesan broth soup recipe she is going to try tonight with a friend, and that got my mouth watering for the same thing. I did a quick google search, and now I think we're going to take a crack at it tonight too! Maybe she and I can do a taste-test comparison of our two recipes, and I'll report back with the winning version tomorrow. 

Here's the recipe I'm going to try... Fingers crossed! 

Vegetable Soup w/ Fennel, Herbs & Parmesan Broth:

  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  4. 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  5. 2 leeks, white parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  6. 1 fennel bulb—halved, cored and thinly sliced
  7. 1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  8. 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  9. 3 cups water / 3 cups vegetable stock*
  10. Five 3-inch square Parmigiano-Reggiano rind*
  11. 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  12. 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  13. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  14. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, leeks and fennel and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and bay leaves and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the cheese rinds and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. Discard the cheese rinds and bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and basil and season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with the grated cheese and serve.

*Note: I slightly altered this recipe to include extra parmesan rinds, as I read that will give it a cheesier, nuttier flavor. I also recommend using 3 cups of water & 3 cups of veggie stock to give the broth a more defined flavor without overwhelming the taste of the parmesan. To each their own... 

Now: Here's hoping I can coerce some parmesan rinds out of my local cheese man. I think he has a soft spot in his heart for me! : ) 

I have high hopes for this broth. I'm thinking served with a garlicky-thymey crostini (aka. a little piece of toast) this is going to be just delicious! If you need a little guidance on the crostini front, check out this tasty looking recipe for a garlic-and-leek crostini. High concept! 

Happy Eating! 

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