Cabbage and carrots add the crunch, lardons provide some lip-smacking saltiness, and, for heat, I've used freshly grated horseradish.
This salad is best served when the chickpeas are slightly warm or at room temperature.
A lush, yet light dessert that's much better if made a day ahead.
I've made this dish as a quick supper and as an elegant dinner party first course. It goes both ways, which is key to its charm and longevity in my cooking repertoire.
Despite the inclusion of red chile, this is not a hot and spicy soup, unless, of course, you use a lot of it. The sweetness of squash naturally tempers the heat of the chile, as do the cinnamon and mint. I prefer to puree this soup, but you can leave it chunky. Either way, it is not taxing to make and it can be prepared the day before you plan to serve it -- or even an hour before.
This soup has the big flavors and full body that are perfect for a winter dinner. It is finished in the oven like French onion soup, but in this case, instead of melted cheese, there is an egg poached on the surface.
Our wine-making pal, Nan Bailey, is the local Tom Sawyer. At harvest time at her Alexis Bailey Vineyard we are all invited to lunch, but first we have to pick. Kids and bees are everywhere, and appetites build to farmhand stature by noon.
1. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring and adding small amounts of the stock to help steam the onion, for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
I know it is a cliché, but this soup really can be made in less than an hour and tastes like it simmered all day. Minestrone lends itself to variations, so improvise with the ingredients that you have on hand. If you were wise enough to freeze pesto at the end of the summer, you can turn this soup into Minestrone alla Genovese by stirring about 1/4 cup of the pesto into the pot just before serving.