Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger and sprig of thyme, turn down the heat, and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Just before the carrots are done, put the onion in a large saucepan with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the carrots.
Remove the ginger and thyme from the stock and add the stock to the onions and carrots. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the carrots are very soft. Use an immersion or a standard blender to puree the soup until smooth.
If the soup seems too thick, add more stock or water and reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with chopped thyme.
This recipe is from “The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2: Seasonal Recipes From Our Kitchens to Yours,” by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs (William Morrow Cookbooks, $35). Comments from the online community and the book’s authors provide cooks a handle on the recipe’s strengths and final outcome and make the book an engaging read.
Serves 15; yields approximately 1 1/2 gallons of soup
1/2 cup oil (canola or a non-extra-virgin
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 pound yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 bunch celery, leaves removed, stalks cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 leeks, white part only, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 head green cabbage, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1/8 cup beef base
3 quarts chicken stock or water
1 cup dry (or 2 cups cooked) cannellini beans
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 bunch (approximately 1 1/2 cups) fresh Swiss chard or spinach