1.17.2013

Minestrone Tuscan Bean Soup


My alarm clock isn't working.  I mean, it functions, but it's not powerful enough to rotate my body from horizontal to vertical.  Every morning, I dispose one more segment of the getting-ready routine.  The first thing to go was breakfast.  Then it was my morning coffee or tea.  Then quickly to follow was eyeliner, then the mascara, then it was the eyeglasses-to-contacts switch.  I'm still holding on to basic grooming and hygiene by a thread.  I have to consciously deflect the brilliant idea of Febreezing myself.

So, I'm thinking to get me out of bed on time, I think i need to acquire a kid.  A kid seems to be a good way to regain discipline and assume regular adult responsibility.  Secondly, I think a kid would be a great excuse to get me out of going places which I consider...optional.  You know, like Work.  More importantly, I can use a kid to escape social events I don't feel like attending.  I would just verbally spray the phrase "ear infection" or "playdate" over the wealth of invitations.  There are days where I'd rather showcase my sweatpants and a messy ponytail in my living room.  Can you tell that being a "hot mom" is not on my lifetime itinerary? 

If not a real kid, maybe a virtual kid makes more sense.  I would need to post cute photos and ask for advice via facebook to make this look legit. I'll close my eyes, and drawing something on a piece of paper with a green marker using my less dominant hand and then post it on the refrigerator. Put a random crayon in my purse and attach an incidental Dora or Diego sticker my cell phone. Throw some cheerios and goldfish in the back of my car.

...or I could just obey my alarm clock like the rest of the world does.


Speaking of kid, if Minestrone Soup and Tuscan Bean Soup had a baby, it would be this one.  It's light on the tomato base, generous with kale, dotted with pasta, and still has the best of both bean worlds: Kidney & Cannellini.  No soup can offer you more.  Not a good one at least.

If there is one recipe you make from rabbit food rocks, make this one.  I can make it with my eyes closed, but I still need to be vertical.


Minestrone Tuscan Bean Soup

If Minestrone Soup and Tuscan Bean Soup had a baby, it would be this one.  It's light on the tomato base, generous with kale, dotted with pasta, and still has the best of both bean worlds: Kidney & Cannelini.  No soup can offer you more.  Not a good one at least.

Servings 4
Prep and Cook: 25-30 minutes


Ingredients:

1 small yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 ribs celery diced
2 bay leaves

 2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup cooked kidney beans, (or half of a 15-oz can of kidney beans)
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans, (or half of a 15-oz can of cannellini beans)
1.5 cups finely diced tomatoes* (a 15-oz can of diced or pureed tomatoes will work too!)
3/4 cup macaroni (or small pasta, like ditalini)
6 cups vegetable broth or 6 cups water and add salt
½ Tbsp Italian seasoning
½ bunch kale, stems removed, chopped (2 big handfuls)
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley

2 Tbsp fresh Basil (or Rosemary), chopped (optional)
3 Tbsp finely grated parmeggiano-reggiano (not Parmesan!)


Directions:

1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat.  Saute onion, carrot, celery and cook until onions are translucent/tender.

2. Add garlic and bay leaves and cook for 1-2 more minutes.  Add water (or broth), salt, and diced tomatoes*, bring to a boil for a few mins and then bring down to a simmer.

3. Add pasta and Italian seasoning. Cover. (Stir often so the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom)


4. When pasta is tender or almost al dente (~7 mins), add beans, kale/greens,
and fresh herbs (parsley and basil/rosemary). Adjust seasoning/salt if needed.

5. Cover and turn off heat and add grated parmeggiano-reggiano.  Ladle in soup bowls and serve drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.


Tips:
  • Sometimes i puree the tomatoes before adding them to the pot.
  • Salt is already included in canned foods (tomatoes & beans) so be cognizant of the total salt you have in this dish 
  • If you use canned beans, you'll use half of each can.  Empty the remaining halves in a freezer Ziploc bag and freeze it for next time!
  • You can adjust the broth/water as you go...as the pasta absorbs the liquid, you can opt to add more depending on how brothy you prefer your soup
  • Serve with a crusty multi grain bread drizzled with EVOO
  • In lieu of pameggiano-reggiano, you can add just the rind of the cheese.  The soup will inherit the nutty flavor.
  • This recipe is very forgiving and simply a guide.  This is exactly the recipe that we have decided we love.  I would love to hear your alterations/preferences in the comments section if you decide to try it!

13 comments:

  1. I think you should have a kid so we can be MILCs together...oh and Kush would also have a tall friend. Maybe you could name your kid Lumboo (tall), and you could write a witty blog titled "The Adventures of Lumboo and Kush"... I'm clever these days.

    P.S. Bella loved the Cars postcard!

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    1. I totally want to be a MILC. lol

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  2. Your photos are gorgeous! I'm on a bean and green kick myself.

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    1. Thanks kathy! Let me know if you run into any winner recipes!

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  3. Oh my... I am right there with you. Can't get up & going like I used to. Maybe this soup will give me the energy boost I need!

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    1. naturecat! thanks so much! if you try it, let me know what you think. good or bad. ;-) Have a great week!

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  4. LOVE your theories on cutting down your routine. i am cracking up. now i'm going to be tempted to fabreeze myself the next time I want to sleep in.

    this soup looks amazing. i have been in such a soup mood and have been feeling like all i need is some inspiration. yum. i can't wait to try.

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    1. Thanks AmberLee - you should totally do it...and not tell anyone else but me...and then we'll get the rest of the world to do it too and then it will be socially acceptable.

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  5. Oh my god, you have seriously fallen off your rocker. I'm going to look into sending you a Tamagotchi. Do you remember those, or are you way too young? They were invented in 1996. (Doing mental math... you are... okay, yeah, you were alive then.)

    You can spray that thing with Febreze all you like.

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    1. I remember those!!!! thanks for reminding me of them, though!! i have indeed advanced from stage Blastocyst since 1979 at a reasonable pace thus far. can't wait to febreze him/her..it? i feel like if i'm getting on, i should honor it with a defined gender.

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  6. OK - this looks amazing. I think I want to eat it every day. Do you deliver? Love the kale pictures too!

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    1. jeanne - i have seen what you cook. you can make this with your eyes closed too!!! :)

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  7. I made this for dinner tonight! Was so excited to use kale... never cooked with it. Thanks for the recipe!

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