The March Photo Challenge continues.
I would not consider myself very domestic. I love being at home, and creating a “cozy” atmosphere (especially with Yankee Candles; thanks, Mom) and feeling domestic, but I’m really not domestic. If I stayed at home all the time, cleaned the house until it was spotless, maintained this cleaned house, and cooked a warm meal every night, maybe I’d re-think it. But none of that happens.
As I’ve said before, cooking is not one of my strong suits. I didn’t cook when I was younger, and neither of my parents were big into cooking, even though my mother cooked every night. I learned to cook out of necessity, and I do know the obvious basics, and could put together a simple meal. Then N came along (I’m going to start referring to my husband as N, fyi, easy to type), and he loves to cook. His parents worked late into the evening when he was younger, so if he wanted to eat dinner, he had to make it himself.
In the past couple years, he has really turned into a chef. He loves all the cooking shows, puts on his apron and tries out new recipes. He will spend five hours cooking a meal on a weekend, and I can be overheard saying, “Why not just boil boxed pasta instead of making it from scratch? So much faster…”
However, I do make one dish. N does too, if I’m busy, but I’m going to give myself a little credit on this one. I am usually the one who makes this. I got it from our best man’s wife, who is an excellent cook, and it is one of my favorite recipes.
Minestrone Soup. What I love about it is that it’s healthy, first of all. I don’t feel guilty having a big bowl of it. Also, you can throw in any vegetable you’d like. If you’ve got something lying around you want to get rid of, throw it in there! It’s definitely an “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” soup. Here is the recipe:
1-2 zucchini/summer squash, sliced
1 shallot or onion, diced
A few cups of chopped carrots (I’ve also done celery)
A tablespoon of minced garlic
15 oz. can of green beans
15 oz. can of pinto beans
15 oz. can of lentils or black beans
1 package of fresh spinach, chopped
Small can of tomato paste
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
One quart of chicken broth
15 oz. can-sized amount of water
Salt and pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
Sauté the first four ingredients with olive oil, and add any other raw vegetable here if you’d like. Then, once it is soft enough for your liking, add in all of the cans of vegetables, beans, and broth, including the chicken broth. Add salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn it down to a simmer and add the fresh chopped spinach, as much as you’d like. Let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes and it’s done!
You can tailor this recipe for yourself. Feel free to change the types of vegetables and beans to something you’d prefer. The end result should taste the same. I also add Parmesan cheese to my soup, as I do most soups.
Finally, back when I was eating wheat, I liked to boil a little pasta (shells) and throw them in this soup, which makes it even more delicious. Then I went gluten-free, and that pasta doesn’t do very well in this soup, and after that I decided to be healthy and leave out the pasta. Either way, it is so delicious.
It takes about an hour from start to finish, so plan ahead. It’s worth it, though.
I give you…..domestic.
Let me know if you make this one at home; I’d love to know how it turns out!