This is kind of a cross between cornmeal porridge and a thick soup, enlivened with fresh and dried tomatoes and red beans. Cooked cornmeal makes a delightfully dense soup base. Serve this meal-in-a-bowl with a bountiful salad and crusty bread. Photos by Evan Atlas.
Serves: 6 to 8
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stoneground, coarse or fine
- 15- to 16-ounce can small red beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium-small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
- 1 cup diced ripe tomatoes
- ¼ cup oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes, plus more for topping, if desired
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
- 6 to 8 ounces Swiss chard or spinach, well washed, stemmed, and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Handful of basil leaves, cut into strips
- ½ cup grated mozzarella-style nondairy cheese for topping, optional
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over low heat until golden.
Add 4 cups of the water and bring to a gentle simmer. Pour the cornmeal into the pot in a thin, steady stream, ¼ cup at a time, whisking constantly.
Stir in the beans, tomatoes, dried tomatoes, and seasoning. Cover and continue to simmer gently. Uncover to whisk well every 5 minutes or so, for 25 minutes, or until the cornmeal is cooked. Whisk in 1 cup of water with each of the last two stirrings.
Stir in the chard or spinach. Cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes for the chard and 3 to 5 minutes for the spinach, just until tender but still bright green. Adjust the consistency with more water if needed. The soup should be fairly thick, but thinner than a cornmeal porridge.
Season with salt and pepper and serve. Top each serving with a a few strips of basil, and if desired, a sprinkling of cheese, and a few extra strips of dried tomato.
Per serving: 184 calories; 6g fat; 6g protein; 7g fiber; 29g carbs; 235mg sodium
- Here are more Warming Winter Soups.