One of the fun things about going gluten-free is that we wind up really interested in investigating the foods we can have. This can lead to bursts of exploration and experimentation, as it did for us with buckwheat. Buckwheat is actually a seed and does not contain wheat at all. Once toasted, it’s called kasha. We love it’s hearty flavor mixed together with a ton of fall vegetables in this satisfying, stew-like soup. The quality of the ingredients, especially the stock, is paramount to the soup’s success. (A nice vegetable stock will make this soup vegetarian as well.) The rind of Parmesan cheese adds a lovely backbone of flavor. It’s a trick we also love to use in a simmering sauce or popped into the middle of a whole-roasted chicken.
Serves 4 as a main course 6 as a starter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1⁄2cups)
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 small potato, cut to into 1⁄4-inch pieces (about 1 cup chopped)
2 small carrots, sliced into 1⁄8-inch thick coins
6 ounces butternut squash, peeled, chopped into 1⁄4-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced (about 11⁄2 cups sliced)
1⁄2 cup buckwheat groats
1 14-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes with juices
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh finely chopped fresh rosemary
3⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 2-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind
4 cups high quality chicken or vegetable stock
1 small zucchini, cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces (about 1½ cups chopped)
1 rib celery, cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces
3 large leaves kale, ribs removed, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked cannellini beans
1⁄2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 Heat oil and butter in a medium-large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and garlic. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, squash, mushrooms, and buckwheat groats.
2 Raise the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes and their juice, use a spoon to break up the tomatoes into small pieces. Let the mixture simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated and the color deepens, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, rosemary, salt, Parmesan rind, and stock and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer for 5 minutes.
3 Add zucchini, celery, kale, beans, and remaining ingredients except vinegar, bring to a simmer once again. At this point the potatoes should be cooked through. If not, simmer a few minutes longer. Remove the Parmesan rind and add the vinegar. Stir to combine, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.