Minestrone

Sometimes, important lessons are learned at the dinner table. Like, for instance, tilting your soup and cereal bowl away from you to spoon the last bit of liquid from your bowl and to avoid hot soup and/or cereal being spilled into your lap. A habit my father habitually corrected. Every day. I love you, dad.

And until last night, I failed to see the reasoning behind tilting my bowl away from me. Hot soup on your lap = OWWW!

I quickly recovered and continued shoveling the delightful soup into my happy mouth. Mmm!

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Minestrone slightly adapted from An Edible Mosaic

3 oz small pasta, any shape you like (such as ditalini, orzo, or shells)
4 5 cups low-sodium vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
1 medium-large onion, diced
4 medium or 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large stalks celery, diced
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juices
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tsp minced fresh thyme (or 1/3 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning
3 oz (about 4 cups lightly packed) fresh baby spinach
1 (15 oz) can beans (such as cannellini, garbanzo, or kidney), drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (for garnish)*

Directions:

In a 3-quart pot with a lid, combine stock, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme, Italian herb seasoning, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring up to a boil and add the pasta. Cover (leaving lid slightly ajar), turn heat down to a simmer, and cook until veggies are tender (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Add spinach, beans, and cooked pasta and cook a couple minutes until spinach is wilted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve garnished with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano if desired*. Yield: 10 cups.

Nutrition Information (per cup): 111 calories; 0.6 g. fat; o mg. cholesterol; 228 mg. sodium; 20 g. carbohydrate; 4.1 g. fiber; 5.5 g. protein

*garnish not included in nutrition information.

Result: The flavor was just as amazing as the nutrition stats! This was quick, easy, vegetarian/vegan, and inexpensive. I am looking forward to leftovers!!

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I do want to apologize for my underwhelming photos as of late. With the sun departing so early in the evening, natural lighting is non-existent. And thus, my endeavors to take decent photos have…been lacking.

Nearly all of yesterday was spent preparing for class this week. I had to write up an outline of one chapter that was not lectured on due to weather, create an assignment, prepare a lecture (which will be observed on Monday – eek!), and create the second exam for the class. Can I just say how grateful I am that I pounded that all out yesterday so today could be devoted to more important fun things like food, football, and hockey games! 😀 My Facebook status yesterday was, “Teachers deserve more credit! There is so much to do outside of class!” Many friends agreed and “liked” this. 😉 Woo, teachers!

I did get in a great workout – 4 1/2 mile run in 45 minutes…including a 2 minute cool-down! I was hustlin’…for me, that is 😉 I’m no speed demon!

I also weighed in after a canceled meeting due to weather — down 0.4 lbs. I wasn’t very happy with this, but like Mr. Prevention encouraged, a loss is a loss! AND, we did go out for a rather indulgent Indian meal and drinks on Friday night, which I can only assume did not help my cause on the scale. Samosas anyone? Mmmmmm!

Question: Do you tip your soup/cereal bowl towards you or away from you?

Lots of love,

Share With Your Friends!

14 Comments

  1. February 6, 2011 / 8:14 am

    That soup looks delicious! I love soup but my husband does not – I don’t get to make it very often. I especially love when my soup is full of pasta and beans.

    I tip my soup bowl towards me – I guess I haven’t had any spills yet!

  2. Holly
    February 6, 2011 / 9:39 am

    Yes! A loss is definitely a loss – congrats, Nicole!

    Honestly…I guess I have never paid attention to my bowls when I eat soup….but I will next time! 🙂

  3. February 6, 2011 / 10:16 am

    I just made some minestrone. Delish! I love how naturally soups can meld together flavors in such great ways! I have such a hard time with photos because my little apartment lacks natural light, big time, even when it’s daytime. So frustrating.

    Interesting question, ha. Definitely towards me.

  4. February 6, 2011 / 10:17 am

    I love minestrone. It’s my favorite kind of soup. I think I probably tilt the bowl towards me. Really, I just tilt it directly into my mouth when I’m home alone!

  5. February 6, 2011 / 10:21 am

    Minestrone is one of my most favorite soups, it is one of the only things I will eat beans in. Looks lovely!

  6. February 6, 2011 / 11:06 am

    Yum yum! I just wrote down the ingredients for this. I’m picking everything up at the store this afternoon !!

  7. February 6, 2011 / 11:26 am

    I’m really trying to imagine what you mean by “tipping your soup bowl away from you”….I can’t understand how that could end up in your mouth??!! You’ll have to demonstrate one day.

    I agree, teachers don’t get enough credit, and I only know this because I have an aunt and uncle who are teachers and I’ve heard stories. Plus I have some friends who are new teachers and I hear them talk and I just know that they work a lot outside of the classroom. But in all honesty…so do I! But, I sort of consider myself a teacher, in a way. When I work outside of work I am usually planning classes or presentations, similar to a teacher. I never want to sound like an idiot when I’m up there talking!!

    I agree with Mark, a loss is a loss, keep it up, and don’t give up!! Not that you would..

  8. February 6, 2011 / 12:00 pm

    Hmm, I think I tilt mine towards me. Maybe I need to reconsider this. I guess lesson learned the first time I spill it on me, right? Glad you got the work done to prep for class. Like I said, after the first time it gets easier. I keep all my materials in a binder, my notes, copies of slides, attendance sheets, all broken up with dividers for the unit or class session and then use that. Answer keys and rubrics too with each unit it corresponds to. This way, for each new term I am already organized and ready to go, and throughout the term I can take notes in each section if something did not work or did work. I need to get to planning a 5 week bio elective I am teaching over the summer. I have my syllabus, just no discussion questions made yet. It’s online so it is all about discussion questions and little group projects. Enjoy the Super Bowl if you plan to watch.

  9. February 6, 2011 / 3:32 pm

    When I was little I wanted to be a teacher, but now that I am an adult I am glad I am not for that exact reason, so much to do off of the clock! But in nursing, there is always another nurse to carry on your job for you!
    I tilt my cereal bowl to the right (that’s the side where I hold my spoon). Or I just drink the rest!

  10. February 6, 2011 / 3:47 pm

    It’s probably a bad idea but I tip my soup bowl toward me… it’s just a habit I guess. Minestrone soup sounds sooo good! It would work perfectly for my meal plan minus the cheese for me.

  11. February 6, 2011 / 4:44 pm

    I loved your story, because I’ve always tipped my bowl towards me despite my mother’s best efforts to teach me to tip the bowl away from me! 🙂 I should learn from your good example… 🙂 Your minestrone looks SO amazing!! I love how this minestrone recipe isn’t a mile long like some minestrone recipes which require extensive shopping lists :-), and is composed of ingredients that I always have in the pantry, so I can fix this gorgeous soup TONIGHT!! 🙂 Thank you sooo much!

  12. February 7, 2011 / 4:11 pm

    Yay, I’m glad you enjoyed the minestrone! It’s one of my favorites! 🙂 Hope your week is off to a fantastic start, Nicole!

  13. February 8, 2011 / 8:03 am

    I love minestrone! I have to say my favorite is definitely from Olive Garden, but this one may come in at a close second!

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