Happy Fall! The weather has cooled and I find myself craving soup. I’m a big fan of soup personally, and would eat it everyday if given the opportunity. It’s warm and filling, you can add just about anything to it including leftovers, you can pack in a ton of nutrients, you can dip bread products into it and top it with nooch. I mean, there’s really no downside to soup. Plus, I love getting creative with my crock pot. But that’s another post.
The guys had quesadillas the other night, but for whatever reason I just wasn’t into it, so I threw together this soup with items I already had on hand. I think being able to just throw together a meal with random stuff you have in your kitchen is an amazing feeling. Almost as good as picking food from your own garden to make lunch.
Minestrone is really an easy soup to make, and I generally have most of these items on hand because I use them for many different meals. I guess you could say that these are some of my ‘staples’. Aside from the fact that this soup is simple and quick — you literally just put everything in a pot and cook it for like 20 minutes — you can be super flexible with the ingredients using what you have on hand instead of having to go to the store.
Super Quick Minestrone Soup
The recipe listed below is just a guesstimate as I didn’t write down what I added. But that’s sort of the point here.
- 1-12 oz. can tomato sauce
- 4 cups vegetable broth (I used Better than Bullion + water)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans or 1-15 oz. can, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed veggies
- 1/2 cup frozen greens (I used collards)
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 small potato, diced and boiled until tender
- 1/2 cup dry pasta, cooked
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed
Add all ingredients to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
So it really is that easy. And to take it a step further, you could absolutely replace the pasta with some leftover rice you have in the fridge, or perhaps you’d like barley or quinoa. No problem, go for it. You can switch all of the veggies and use what’s leftover from the week. You can use chickpeas instead of kidney beans and thyme or dill instead of rosemary. You get the point.
The first night I made it I enjoyed it with the last of the bread I had baked a couple of days before. I had it for dinner again last night with some biscuits. I really love biscuits. Maybe that’s because I’m from the south or maybe it’s because of a biscuits warm, fluffy goodness. I haven’t quite perfected my vegan biscuit recipe but I’m getting closer. I’m still working on the crust. Nothing I’ve tried gets me the golden brown color I desire, with the crusty edges that sort of taste fried because the butter melted in just the right way. I know that whole wheat flour doesn’t brown as well, in general. I’ve tried coconut oil, olive oil and earth balance with no luck.
I make a sweet potato biscuit that is delicious, especially smothered in roasted cranberry chutney, but I’d love to get more of a rise to it. I make a pretty darn good buttermilk whole wheat biscuit, and today kicked it up a notch by incorporating chickpea flour. I’ve been using more chickpea flour in my baking because I think it adds a certain crunch to the crusts that I really enjoy. Steve said they were really good.
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour*
- 1/2 cup spelt flour*
- 2.5 tsps. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plant butter (I used Earth Balance Original)
- 3/4 cup plant milk (I used Silk soy)
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg’s)
Combine plant milk and vinegar. Stir well and set aside.
Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together to blend.
Using a pastry cutter, large forks or knives, cut in plant butter until you’ve created a large crumb like texture. Place the bowl in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Remove the bowl from refrigerator and add all but about 2 tbsp. of the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until well combined, adding remaining milk mixture if necessary, until a large, soft ball of dough is formed. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes (optional but recommended).
After 15 minutes, remove the biscuit dough and place on a floured surface. Sprinkle the top with flour, and gently roll out dough until it’s about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits using a biscuit cutter. If you do not have a biscuit cutter, you can use a sharp knife and be sure to cut straight down, in one swift motion, cutting the dough into squares instead of circles.
Ruby had her first play date this past weekend. It was also my first time meeting a new friend from a FB vegan mom group. We had doughnuts (Ruby did not have doughnuts). Vegan doughnuts from Dunwell Doughnuts. It was such a good opportunity for both Ruby and me to get out of the house and go on an adventure. Ruby was sporting her ‘dance to the beet’ onsie. It was amazing meeting a new friend. Especially someone who is vegan already. Not that I don’t welcome all friends, but food is a huge part of my life so it’s something that I look for. Anyway, being a parent is daunting. I was never really a social butterfly as it was. But being a parent really forces you to get out there and socialize and get your kiddos involved. Though I suppose it can be pretty therapeutic too. Reason #293 being a parent blows my mind. As my niece-in-law said today, “Best thing about life is being a mom.” It’s so true.
Until next time….