Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

soup

I’ve been practicing my staring technique.  Staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen; staring at a cooling mug of coffee; staring at raindrops traveling down the kitchen window; staring at the television.

“I should bake,” I think, but can’t even manage that.

I’m lingering before a crossroads, staring at divergent paths mere steps ahead. I cannot walk towards any one direction, on a road to any outcome.  I’m weary. I want to rest a while, here in the center of the road, and just stare towards an unknown.

My brain was not meant to process all this.


Vegetarian Minestrone Soup

  • Servings: Serves 8-10
  • Print

Ingredients

  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh sage, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • ½ cabbage, shredded
  • 2 14 oz. can cannellini beans, drained
  • ½ bag frozen peas

Directions

  1. In a large pot, saute onion, carrots and celery until beginning to soften. Add green beans and saute 5 minutes longer. Add garlic, oregano and sage and sauce for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and broth, and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 45-60 minutes until beans are almost tender.
  2. Add zucchini, cabbage and beans and cook another 15 minutes or until cabbage has softened and green beans are tender. Add peas and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Save

Pork Posole

Pork Posole

It’s Sunday, and confronting the evening’s silence is not unlike staring at this blank screen while gripped by writer’s block. A house with noiseless, sleeping cats and only the purr of the fridge surround a glowing white page anxious for a flash of creativity. She has recipes ready to post, and ingredients for another, if she requires that distraction. Photos, edited, too, are waiting on her desktop. It’s the words, the words that are buried deep inside her, not ready to come out – The silence of a single girl’s home.

She’s in the twilight of her 40’s, never married, never close, really. If love arrived today, is she simply too accomplished at singleness to make coupledom work?

Versatility of leftovers is key when eating solo. Posole hits the mark; with a spoonful more broth, it’s a soup; with less broth, a stew. Drain the broth and add to scrambled eggs for breakfast – or pile it on a roll with mayo and avocado for a warm torta sandwich.


Pork Posole

I enjoy the versatility of this healthy soup-stew

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can hominy, drained
  • 1 15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed
  • limes
  • cilantro

Directions

  1. Combine cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub spices over pork. Brown pork in a soup pot over high heat on all sides. Remove pork and set aside. Add onion and sauté until beginning to brown.
  2. Add broth, scraping up any browned bits. Add tomatoes, hominy, and pinto beans. Return pork to pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 2 – 2 ½ until pork is very tender.
  3. Shred the pork using 2 forks and mix into the cooking liquid. Adjust seasoning.
  4. To serve, top with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Slow Cooker Sausage & Bean Soup

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Occasionally, weekend to-do lists are meant to be ignored, Poldark reruns supplant afternoon football and a simple crock pot soup is all that is needed. Ah, lazy Sundays – nap optional.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup


Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups dried black beans
  • 2 Tablespoon rosemary, minced
  • 6 cups beef stock or water
  • 2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 cups Portuguese or Andouille sausage, diced and sautéed
  • 2 cups spinach (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sour cream

Directions

  1. Cook garlic and onion in oil in a slow cooker on high for 30 minutes.
  2. Add beans, 4 cups stock and rosemary, stir, and cook on high for an additional 4-6 hours.
  3. Add carrots and sausage and cook for another 1-2 hours.
  4. Add spinach (if using) and cook 1-2 minutes until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve with sour cream.

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

My hand fumbles for the snooze; 40 minutes’ worth of snooze, if I’m honest. This morning, the kitties were left without a playmate as I curled up on the couch, latte in hand and head filled with fog and aching.  I almost rested on the landing as I trudged  the six flights to my office, my energy so low I could barely scramble up.  Most of today’s lunch is still in the refrigerator. Lunch is a contraindication to the nausea and dizziness.  Until yesterday, I thought sugar withdrawal was a myth, a dietary Loch-ness.  I’m a believer now.

 Feel like shit – eat like shit – feel like shit – eat like shit – feel like shit.

 How else could I feel after eating an entire 8×8 pan of fudge, 12 servings of panna cotta and half of a nectarine cake in the course of two weeks?  Ugh.  I’ve decided to commit to a 21-day sugar strike to return my body to healthy-ish, semi-working order before Italian pasta school next month.  Preparing the bod for pasta and gelato overload.

 It’s detox day 5 and I’m grieving the loss of my tool of the trade.  In an attempt to rescue the mass exodus of nectarines hurdling from my tree, I baked a warm, bubbly nectarine crisp with a cinnamon, oat, butter, almond meal and pecan crust.  Yum, right?  No yum – a fruit crisp needs sugar, period.

 I fared better with this crock pot vegetable soup.  Look ma, no sugar!

Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup
Serves 6-8

2 cups Chopped onion, carrot and celery blend (mirepoix)
14.5 oz. can Chopped tomatoes
2 Bay leaves
1 t. Thyme (dried)
3-4 cups Chicken stock
¾ cup Frozen peas
¾ cup Frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste
1 T. Fresh lemon juice

Combine first 5 ingredients in slow cooker.  Cook on high for 2 hours or until carrots are soft.  Add frozen vegetables and cook on high for 30 additional minutes.  Remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.  Finish with lemon juice to add brightness.

White Bean and Spinach Soup

Great Northern Bean and Spinach SoupI’m so intently focused on unique that I sometimes forget how satisfying simple can be. Working from home today, I decided to scent the house with simmering beans, garlic and rosemary – yes, I do realize that it’s August and 110 degrees outside, don’t judge. I turned the slow cooker to “high,” smashed a few garlic cloves, added them to the cooker and allowed the cloves to sputter in a spoonful of duck fat (when you have frozen duck fat, why use olive oil?) until the garlic was just beginning to soften. To that, I added dried Great Northern beans, a sprig of garden rosemary and 2 small Turkish bay leaves. I covered the whole mess with cold water by about 2” and let the slow cooker do its work for the next 3 hours while I cranked out emails. Once the beans were soft and creamy, I liberally added kosher salt and let the beans bubble for another 15 minutes.

I transformed a big ladle-full into a satisfying and healthy soup by sprinkling chopped fresh spinach on the bottom of a bowl and covering it with beans and broth, letting the whole thing sit for a minute or two until the spinach was wilted. The soup only needed a dollop of Greek yogurt and grind of fresh pepper as garnish. And done.