I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving weekend is an absolute blur around here.
The kids are off from school, the college students are all home for the first time and everyone — and I mean everyone — must be seen immediately.
Now we’re almost back to “normal” and here come the school holiday concerts and parent-teacher conferences to add to the list of Scouts, work, music lessons, religion classes and too many tournaments to keep track of.
When life gets this hectic it’s too easy to grab a slice of pizza or make a quick dash through the drive-thru for a cheeseburger or nuggets.
Who really has time to cook anything?
Well that’s why this holiday season hustle coincides with soup season; it’s nature’s way of adding balance to our lives.
With that in mind, here is my all-time favorite, go-to recipe for quick, nourishing, healthy, inexpensive, crazy flexible and super delicious Miracle Minestrone. I adapted this from a recipe I found at forksoverknives.com and I’ll make this wonder at least twice a month and double (or triple) the recipe so I have leftovers for when I am working nights.
The family can come home to a home cooked, warm, veggie-filled crockpot and I get to feel all super-momish and proud because I threw a bunch of stuff in a pot a few days ago.
vegan, dairy free, gluten free (serves 6-8)
1 onion, chopped small
3 stalks of celery (cut into 1/2” pieces)
1/2 bulb fennel (cut into small pieces)
3 medium red potatoes (or whatever spuds you have) cut into bite-sized pieces
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 35 oz tomatoes, crushed
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
1 15 oz can black beans
1 15 oz can chick peas
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne (for a little heat; omit if you’re not a fan)
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 zucchini (quartered and sliced)
1 -2 bunches swiss chard (washed and torn or cut into small pieces)
2 cups elbow pasta (we use the gluten free stuff here)
- Start cooking pasta according to package directions.
- Cover the bottom of an 8-QT stock pot with water and heat over medium-high heat.
- Add onion, fennel, potatoes, and garlic and water sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes (with juices), veg stock, beans, and about 2 tsp salt (to your taste) and cayenne
- Increase the heat to high and bring soup to a boil
- Reduce heat to a simmer, add in the zucchini and cook until the spuds are fork tender. Should take about 10 minutes.
- Stir in vinegar, swiss chard, and check for seasoning again, adding salt and pepper to taste
Put a little pasta in the bottom of the bowl and ladle soup over the top.
This can be made ahead of time and reheated by adding a little bit of liquid as required.
Enjoy with a great loaf of crusty bread or garnished with ground up pumpkin seeds and a nice bottle of wine or eaten from a thermos while running from one activity to the next. Enjoy!
Bernadette Smith is an organic gardener, life-long tree hugger and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living in Patchogue, N.Y. She offers free 30-minute Health Discovery Sessions and can reached through Facebook or by emailing SimplyNourishedHome@gmail.com.