Alone Time and Girl Time

This past weekend, David was in Oxford for a conference. This sadly meant I was without him for four days. Not having my partner in crime with me for that long is sad. But, it also has its perks!
1. Bed to myself.
2. Sleep in and not feel guilty.
3. Cooking something without having anyone else to think of. Likes. Dislikes. Is it filling?

So, while the gentlemen were off to the conference I had the wives over for some girl time. I made them dinner and a decadent dessert. Parmesan Vegetable Soup with bread and a chocolate soufflé with coffee creme anglaise.

The secret ingredient to my soup is the parmesan rind. You know, that waxy end of your parmesan wedge. You may think this is just trash but it is actually cheese and has a lot of flavor. I always save mine in the freezer for broth making. You are essentially using the rind like a bay leaf.


Parmesan Vegetable Soup

Parmesan Broth
1/4 cup pancetta, cubed
1 carrot, rough chop
1 celery stalk, rough chop
1 onion, rough chop
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
parmesan rind
1/2 cup white wine
8 cups water

1. Heat a large stock pot on medium heat. Render fat from pancetta.
2. Add carrot, celery, and onion until soft. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and stir well.
3. Deglaze pan with white wine. Making sure to scrape all of the brown bits on the pan. Add parmesan rind and water.
4. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Strain into a large bowl and prepare soup.

1/4 cup pancetta
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
2 400g/14oz can beans, rinsed (I used aduki and haricot. Kidney would work.)
parmesan broth (recipe above)
1 1/2 cup asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 handfuls of kale

1. Heat a large stock pot on medium heat. Render fat from pancetta.
2. Sauté onion, carrot, and celery until soft. Add zucchini, beans, and tomatoes and stir well.
3. Add all of the parmesan broth. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add asparagus and kale and cook for another 3 minutes.
5. Serve with parmesan and bread.

We ladies ate the entire pot except for one serving. It was delicious! I have also made it for David and he loves it. However, he just needs a lot of bread with it.


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