Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Day Of Celebration And A Soup For Lisa and Holler

There is so much to celebrate today! I do not know where to start! OK, we will begin with my original start of this blog one year ago today! I cannot believe I have been blogging for one whole year already. Time flies! Also, this is my 200th post!

This photo is the one I used on my first blog. (Since I had no clue as to what I was doing, I just headed to my garden for a photo.) Oh, those were the days! But one year later, I must “tip my hat” to all of you and say a big “THANKS!” If it was not for you, my community of blogger friends, I am sure that I would not have continued blogging. Everyday when I get this ol’ body out of bed and get myself together, I cannot wait to get the computer fired up and see what is happening with all of my friends! I spend more time “chatting” with all of you everyday than I ever did on the telephone with friends. Also, when I am with friends or family, I talk about you as if you were my next door neighbors, although most of you are thousands of miles away from me! Again, thank you all for being there!!!!

Next up it is time to celebrate the new challenge "No Croutons Required" that Holler from Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen has dreamed up for us. Yes, these two vegetarian ladies are putting us to the test each month for a new soup and salad challenge! The deadline for the first month challenge, which is a vegetable soup, is tomorrow! You still have time to enter the challenge! Check out Lisa’s site here for details and in a few days for the delicious round up of soups which are good for the soul!

My entry for this month is a soup that I have adapted from a wonderful book titled “Pasta Verde” by Judith Barrett who also co-authored “Risotto”. This book has more than 140 vegetarian recipes for pasta sauces, soups, salads and baked pastas. I will be reviewing this book for you next week. On with the soup!

Soup Of Borlotti Beans, Dried Porcini, and Tubetti

A quick note to start, our pinto beans are very much like the Italian borlotti bean. I could not locate the borlotti bean so I used pinto beans.

2 ounces of dried porcini mushrooms (you can use other dried mushrooms but the flavor of the porcini are wonderful)
1 cup of boiling water
A good glug of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
2 cups of pinto beans ( I used canned, drain and rinse before adding to the soup)
1 cup chopped tomatoes with their juice
3 cups of vegetable broth
½ cup dried tubetti pasta (I used elbow)
1 fresh cayenne pepper finely chopped (or you could use a nice sprinkle of dried peppers)

Place your dried mushrooms in a heat proof measuring cup with the boiling water for 30 minutes. Strain through cheese cloth or a coffee filter and save the liquid. Chop the mushrooms.
Heat the oil in a nice size saucepan over medium heat and then add the onions and peppers and sauté for a few minutes, add the chopped garlic and continue sautéing for a minute.
Add the beans, tomatoes, mushrooms with ¼ cup of their soaking liquid and the broth. Bring all to a boil then turn down to simmer until the soup is a bit thick, about 20 minutes.
At this time season the soup with salt to taste. Add your dried pasta to the soup and let cook for about 10 more minutes until the pasta is tender but still firm.

This is a great soup that is fast to make and very satisfying. It is one soup that is a whole meal in itself. Definitely pour yourself a nice glass of red or white wine to start, actually have a glass while you are preparing, add a salad, or even a hunk of parmesan cheese with some crusty bread or crackers along side and baby, you are in heaven!

Now, I have a couple of more things to celebrate! A "big thanks" to Holler for awarding me the “E” award! Holler and I have been good blogging friends for many months now and you must stop by her site and check out the great vegetarian dishes she prepares. Thanks to her, I keep somewhat on the healthy track! Thanks again Holler!

Another big “thank you” goes out to my good blogging friend from South America Gloria at Canela's Kitchen! She has awarded me the "Nice Matters" award. You must stop by her site for good home cooking and her sharing with us stories of her lovely family and friends from her part of the world. Thank you Gloria!

Well, if it was not so early in the morning, I would pour myself a glass of wine to celebrate this day. Oatmeal and wine? Hey, you never know till you try it!

Cheers To All !!!!


Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Wow, What a day for you!

Happy 200th Post and Happy Blog Birthday!

That soup looks absolutely great and I would definitely have it with crusty bread and a glass of wine!

I never add pasta to soup and if I thought to, I would probably be no more creative than adding the teeny weeny pasta that is suggested for soup (don't ask me what it is called), but this looks super (or should I say souper)!

Lisa Turner said...

Holler and I are both huge mushroom fans! Wonderful entry. Thanks so much for participating!

Peter M said...

Nice can be neutral but I'd say you're a good person, good soup, great blog!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Many things to celebrate today Deb!!! Congratulatiuons on all. I am so glad that you have joined this event. I found your blog through Holler and so on and so on :D You are doubly blessed to have friends that appreciate you in the blogosphere.

Lucy said...

How delicious - a wonderful entry.

Happy 200th and happy blogiversary - how will you celebrate, Deb?

Dr. Debs said...

Thanks for the great soup recipe. I love Barret's risotto book, but haven't seen this one. I'll look for it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Deb - 200 posts in a year is really good going.

Enjoy your well deserved glass of wine!

winedeb said...

Hey Holler, thanks! Soup is great with pasta, although sometimes, depending on the soup, the pasta should be cooked separate and then added to the soup at the end. Otherwise it might make it too thick.

Thanks Lisa! Great challenge!

Thank you Peter!

Thank you Val and you are one of the reasons I keep going. I enjoy your blog!

Hey Lucy, thank you and we went out for dinner!

Hey Debs, thank you! The book is great and I will talk more about it next week.

Thank you Sophie!

Anonymous said...

aww..I left you a comment but it didn't show up so I will try again.
Congrats on all these things. Well deserved.
(and I knew you were the person to pair my dessert with the perfect wine) :)

Nora B. said...

Hi Deb,
Indeed so many reasons to celebrate! Congratulations on your one year blogaversary & your 200th post! wow! And you are definitely deserving of your two awards my dear.

Thank you Deb for being such an unflagging supporter and for the comradery. My 1 year anniversary is in April, but I don't think that I will get to 200 posts by then.

x Nora

michelle said...

Wow! What a wonderful 200th post!

Congratulations! I can't wait to see what the next 200 posts bring! :)

test it comm said...

That soup sounds pretty tasty and hearty. Congratulations on 1 year of blogging and 200 posts!

Gloria Baker said...

Dear Debs Happy 200th Post and Happy Blog Birthday!!!! and very loveli pictures, Cheers!!!! Gloria

I think how Peter, Good Blog, Good wines, good person you are, etc.,etyc. Gloria

Unknown said...

WOW! Happy 200th blog post! How neato! And, you and your family look happy in warm in that photo. (as I freeze my butt off here in Nashville) Congrats to your brother and fiance! Wow, you had lots of good things happen in the month of February!

Johanna GGG said...

Congratulations - and how lovely to celebrate with a beautiful soup! I too spend more time on the blog than I ever have on the phone but there are so many wonderful blogs out there and so few hours in the day! But always glad to visit here for some cheer :-)

winedeb said...

Hi Maryann, thanks and that dessert looked awesome!

Thank you Nora who definately has her "plate" full right now.

Thank you Michelle, I cannot wait either!

Thanks Kevin, nice meeting you thru Holler!

Thank you Gloria! You are so sweet!

Hi Lannae, you are right, it has been a busy Feb. Come on back down for a warm visit!

You are so right Johanna, thank you!

Katie Zeller said...

Happy Belated Blogiversary!
Happy Belated 200th!
Great looking soup.
Congrats on the awards.
How did I miss this event?
Just catching up.....