This morning before work I got the process started by setting white beans to soak in a bowl of water so that by the time I got home in the afternoon I could start actually cooking. I drained the beans and simmered them for about an hour in vegetable stock over low heat.
I slivered Savoy cabbage, rinsed it thoroughly, and steamed it for about 10 minutes in a pan, and then set it aside to use later in the recipe.
In the bottom of my stock pot, I sauteed a huge minced garlic clove, minced pancetta, and chopped parsley and onion in olive oil. I left these for about 15 minutes on low heat, and they smelled heavenly.
Once they had softened I added the rest of my vegetables, which were all diced. You can pretty much use whatever you have in your fridge for this portion of the recipe. I used: 1 butternut squash (peeled), 2 stalks of celery, 1 small green zucchini, 2 small yellow zucchini, 2 red potatoes (peeled), and 4 Roma tomatoes (peeled.) I added more veggie broth and simmered this for about 30 minutes, until the vegetables had become tender.
I poured the beans as well as their cooking liquid into the stock pot and added the cabbage, arborio rice, and salt and pepper.
The soup cooked for about another 20 minutes and then was served with parmesan sprinkled on the top.
This was really good -- I added a little more salt and pepper to mine but then ate a huge bowl of it. I made the whole recipe (I normally halve all recipes) so we each have some for lunch tomorrow set aside and the rest is in the freezer for a rainy day.
With this we ate Cheesy Potato Herb Bread, which also came from my CSA box but was baked by Great Harvest Bread Company. It was light and fluffy and a nice addition to the soup.
I had also received some really spicy poblano peppers and wasn't sure what to do with them. Since I already had pancetta for the soup, I made Bacon Cream Cheese Jalapeno Peppers following the recipe exactly except, of course, that mine were actually Pancetta Cream Cheese Poblano Peppers. These were delicious. We worried that they would be too spicy since the peppers were ridiculously hot, but they weren't. They were perfect.
onion -- $1.15 (only used half)
pancetta -- $4.99 (only used a few slices)
squash -- $3.14
zucchini -- $2.36
potatoes -- $1.57
tomatoes -- $1.57
Total Cost of Mediterranean Vegetable Soup: $14.78