It’s a good thing I made such a big batch of this soup yesterday morning because it’s all I’ve been able to eat today. As you know from my post for the sixth challenge of Project Food Blog, I got hit with the flu Friday night and have spent a pretty miserable weekend because of it. I literally forced myself to crawl out of bed and cook up a storm during yesterday’s storm, and except for the red quinoa cake I made (yes, that recipe is coming, too!), this was my favorite part of the meal. No offense to my Spicy Red Quinoa with Shrimp or anything; I really liked having that dish, too. But I’ve had that before and this was a new soup so chock full of yummy goodness that I have to say it’s even better than the quinoa. Plus, it warms one up from the inside beautifully, which is always a nice bonus if you’re not feeling too well.
I’ll keep the intro for this short since I already waxed poetic about it in yesterday’s post and I know you all want to read about the cake (SO many requests for that recipe! Yowza!). Basically, this soup is a play on traditional Tuscan-style soups that generally feature cannellini beans, kale, and sometimes some Italian sausage. I didn’t have any cannellini left, so I used freshly cooked navy beans instead and used some of my Hearst Ranch Beef winnings for my ground beef. Since this was extra lean flank steak, it kept the fat content to a bare minimum while still packing in plenty of flavors. Some fresh tomatoes from the Whaley Farm helped my broth taste rich & comforting, and the amaranth I threw in towards the end added an interesting nutty flavor. Some amaranth soup recipes call for it to be thrown in there much sooner and in greater quantities, but I didn’t want to have a gluey, mushy soup; rather, I was looking for the tiny grains to complement the other flavors & textures subtly, which is exactly what it did. For those non-meat eaters out there, feel free to omit the beef as it will be just as hearty & delicious without it.
Let’s check this one out before I dive into another bowl!