Alphabet Soup

Posted by on Monday Sep 17th, 2012 | Print

Don’t look now, but my last two recipes reveal a nostalgic bent. A month out from the wedding, I’m pining for childhood, from moping through violin lessons to squabbling with my sister. That’s not weird, right?

Today, I’m adding another post to this I-want-to-be-a-kid archive: Alphabet Soup.

I made this most childish of soups for the most mature of reasons, so that Alex and I would be able to feed ourselves nourishing meals even when we’ve got no time to cook. Busy evenings have become the norm, which fits right into your lifestyles, based on your responses to the Hello Fresh giveaway post. I wanted to share my own effort to cook a meal really quickly on the blog, too. Just so you know it’s not all no-knead bread and  three-layer brownies around here.

To that end, I’m starting a series called Super Fast, which will be full of recipes that require little prepwork, minimal clean-up, and rapid satisfaction. (You can also navigate to the Recipe Index and browse posts under “For When You’re Low On: Time.”)

One of the easiest ways to save on time is to make a dish all in one pot. The chances that you’ll mess something up are minimal. The number of dishes to clean is…one. And as the soup simmers away for 10 minutes at the end, it leaves you with enough pause to wash your breakfast dishes, get out your mugs, take out some cheese and crackers to dip in the soup, and spell out

B-O-N A-P-P-E-T-I-T

with your pasta alphabet.

Childish, eh?

More soup!

Chicken Sausage and Ravioli Soup from Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Slow-Cooker Tomato Basil Soup from Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Vegan “Cream” of Broccoli Soup from Big Girls, Small Kitchen

Roasted Eggplant and Lentil Soup from Food and Wine

Julia Child’s Potato Leek Soup from YumSugar

**Recipe**

Alphabet Soup
Serves 4

You can make this soup a few days in advance. The best way to do it is to cook the soup up to adding the cabbage, then cool and store in the fridge. When you reheat, start with adding the cabbage, then the pasta. You can feel free to substitute another soft vegetable (Swiss chard, string beans, or kale) for the cabbage. Also, if you’d like to make a heartier soup, adding 1 cup of white beans is a swell idea. If I’m not adding beans, I’ll slice some cheese and eat with crackers or toast. A post-soup yogurt is a very French way to make this a complete meal.

Ingredients
1/4 cup neutral oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery, diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
5 cups veggie or chicken broth (preferably homemade)
1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes
2 tablespoons white wine
2 cups white cabbage (about a quarter of a large cabbage), cut into 1-inch squares
1/2 cup alphabet pasta

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, carrot, celery in oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, and potatoes. Cook for 1 more minute. Add the broth and wine. Squish each tomato from the can in your hand to break it up and add to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the veggies are nearly softened. Add the cabbage and stir to make sure it’s all submerged. Cook for 5 minutes more, then add the alphabet pasta and continue to cook uncovered for 10 minutes, until the pasta is cooked, the potatoes are soft, and the cabbage is melting. Taste for salt, adding more if needed, and serve immediately.

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  • Caitlin

    Why not revert? Such a fun twist on regular minestrone.

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      So true!!

  • Erin Kennedy

    This time of year always makes me nostalgic for my younger years. So I will make this soup and enjoy it like a kid :)

    Erin – ekcantcook.blogspot.com

    • http://www.biggirlssmallkitchen.com/ BGSK

      Maybe it’s watching all the kids go back to school. Glad to know I’m not alone!

  • http://twitter.com/jenniebites jennie lopez

    yum! i adjusted this a little bit for my pantry, but the end result is perfect for a rainy tuesday. thanks cara!