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Pot o’ Polenta

This fabulous, filling soup is a tasty, savory meal-in-a-bowl.

For nights when you want a meal that feels fancier than the sum of its ingredients, go for this sensational soup. Serve with warm bread, a bright green salad, and your finest mug of tea. Top hats and tails are totally optional.

Serves 6

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 16-ounce can small red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 6 ounces Swiss chard, washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup basil, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella-style nondairy cheese, grated

What you do:

  1. In a soup pot over low heat, add garlic and sautée until golden. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a gentle simmer. Add cornmeal steadily, 1/4 cup at a time, whisking constantly.
  2. Stir in beans, zucchini, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, and Italian 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.
  3. Stir in chard. Cook for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, just until tender and bright green, and season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with basil, cheese, and sun-dried tomato.

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