Minestrone Soup

After an incredibly busy couple weeks, swamped with both work and actually making an effort to be social and leave my house in the evenings and weekends, I came down with a shitty cold. Lost my voice at work, went home to sleep it off, woke up with a horrible sore throat, headache, cough, etc. I tried to spend the day in bed with a pitcher of tea and my computer to get work done. I’m so jealous of people who get to work from home. I was so productive–I cleaned my house and made a whole bunch of food around work. A fresh batch of English muffins to make breakfast sandwiches, boneless chicken thighs to put in the English muffins, pumpkin puree to make granola bars or ravioli at a later date, fruit popsicles…

And then I went a little OCD and labeled my fridge and freezer with a chalkboard pen to cut down on food waste–I hate finding half of a vegetable or container of something that I forgot about moldering in the back. What I discovered was a whole bunch of stuff that needed to be used up.

Well, so despite the nasty weather outside (mid nineties, smog, humid, pollution, pretty much unbearable) my new AC has been keeping my room blissfully cold. And feeling a little sick, obviously, soup was called for. A big pot of minestrone soup used up plenty of the vegetable odds and ends.

First:

Small carrot, diced
Half a zucchini, diced
Clove garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 small tomatoes, chopped up
1/2 onion, diced
Half a can of kidney beans, half a can of white beans, drained (or one can of one kind of bean)
Italian herbs, bay leaves, salt, pepper, half a cup of elbow macaroni, 3-4 cups of vegetable stock plus a cup of water

Heat up some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Saute the onions. Once translucent, add in the garlic, then the bay leaves and tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes have cooked down for a few minutes, add in the zucchini, carrot and celery, the beans, the pepper, sprinkle of Italian seasoning, and the vegetable stock and water.
Bring the stock to a boil, then simmer for five minutes. bring it back to a boil and add the pasta. About ten minutes for the pasta to cook through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add extra stock or water if the ratio of broth to pasta is too low.

Serve with crusty bread and maybe a little sprinkle of grated parmesan. This was really tasty, and I had enough to last me for dinner, lunch the next day, and two servings in the freezer for a rainy day. Next time, I’d add chick peas and thick cut bacon, or maybe some crumbled Italian sausage, but the vegetarian version was pretty satisfying.

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