[Alicia Peck Valentine's Day Cards: I'm not a huge fan of the hearts and lace, so this is perfect. http://www.bellamuse.com/ $3.50.]
Can we buy ourselves a Valentine's Day present? My favorite part about a special occasion is being able to plan a special menu (or going out to eat.) This would make the process of cooking in the kitchen very fun.
[Thelma Apron: www.bellapamella.com. $40]
Need a perfect excuse to put on that new apron? (If we're being hopeful) Tangy Three Bean Soup sounds DELICIOUS!
Tangy Three Bean Soup:
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 pound baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
4 ribs celery from the heart, chopped
5 carrots, shredded (2 cups)
2 onions, chopped
1 baby leaf
One 32-ounce container (4 cups) vegetable or chicken broth
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
One 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
One 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup pickle relish
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped (a couple of hand fulls)
Dill sprigs, for garnish
Crusty whole grain bread, for serving.
1. In a soup pot, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, celery, carrots, onions, and bay leaf and cook until softened, 7-8 minutes. Add the broth, tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until just tender, 5 minutes. Season liberally with salt and pepper. (The "stoup" is thick- you can add a little water if you prefer it soupier.)
2. Stir in the relish and parsley and turn off the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Top the "stoup" with the dill sprigs and serve with bread.
Tip: serve the stoup with a dollop of sour cream.
Lindsey, this sounds like a different version of your tortilla soup...kindof. I think this is definitely the season for warm, easier meals! (Except for you, Missy. You're probably out having picnics. Sigh.)