Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Springtime Minestrone Soup

I thought I would begin this blog post with a few fun facts about my 3-year-old daughter Lucy. She's such a cute and funny little person and I am very much enjoying my time with her at home while her two older siblings are at school. She has quite the sense of humor but is still in that cuddly, sweet toddler phase where she loves to be held, read to, rocked, and showered with affection.

Lucy Fact #1: In nearly every statement she makes, she always incorporates a random, nonsensical reference to time. "I finished all my dinner for four years!" "Cheerios are my favorite cereal for two months!" "This shirt was my favorite last morning!" "I played with my painting set for five years last morning!" "Hey! I have a great idea! Let's go to the candy factory again last year!"

You get the picture. It's super cute and endearing.

Lucy Fact #2: Whenever Lucy is very excited to tell you something, she stutters for a good 30-seconds before she is able to finally spit out her thoughts. Paul and I find it so funny, but it really irritates her not-so-patient older siblings, especially Matthew ("Just say it LUCY!"). Ironic, considering how much time I have used up over the years interpreting Matthew's endless jibberish about random subjects.

Lucy Fact #3: She has declared passionately that when she grows up she wants to be a farmer. She loves pigs and cows and thus thinks being a farmer along the lines of "Old MacDonald" is the perfect career for her. I have yet to explain to her where her beloved bacon comes from.

Lucy Fact #4: Lucy is fully potty trained. Which is fantastic. The not-so-fantastic, slightly disturbing part of this is that she has developed a couple quirky habits as a result of her training. After successfully using the potty and washing her hands, she usually comes back out to the family room wearing only her underwear and then proceeds to wiggle her butt at everyone while singing in her deep baritone voice: "I have a stinky little butt. Look at my stinky little butt!" Paul finds it hilarious, I find it horrifying. I've been trying to explain to her that nice young ladies do not act that way, but of course it hasn't had much impact because Lucy is also being egged on by her obnoxious older sister Emma who finds the whole thing very funny indeed.

Lucy Fact #5: Lucy rarely, if ever, eats dinner. Always claiming to be starving at dinnertime, Lucy pretty much only finishes her plate when the meal consists of pizza, bacon, or ice cream. Every other food she just plays with and makes a mess but doesn't actually eat any of it. If she can detect a single vegetable in a dish, she won't even play with it lest she be exposed to its nutritional poisons.

After that last fact, I probably don't need to tell you that this Springtime Minestrone Soup is a meal that Lucy refused to even try. She ate the bread that we served along with it but this soup went completely untouched. In fact, she complained until the bowl was completely removed from her sight. Her loss because this soup is freaking fantastic! The pesto-infused broth is so addicting and all the nourishing greens, beans, and veggies makes for a meal that leaves you feeling satisfied, healthy, and comforted. Emma gave quite the fuss about this soup when we initially put it in front of her, but once she finally tried it even she was won over by it. She especially liked the chickpeas in the stew and mounding her bowl up with plenty of shredded parmesan. I sometimes worry that we as a family do not eat nearly as many vegetables as we should at dinnertime - everyone gets plenty with a serving of this soup!

I know that the name of this soup is "Springtime" Minestrone, but really you can make this year-round because all the veggies are available anytime! Don't skip the artichokes or the asparagus! They were my favorite part!

Springtime Minestrone Soup
adapted from Simply Recipes

2 Tbsp olive oil
6 green onions
2-4 large garlic cloves
1 pound baby potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
4-6 cups chicken stock (use vegetable stock if cooking vegetarian or vegan)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups greens (dandelion, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), sliced into thin ribbons
1/4 cup pesto (heaping!)
Grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Begin by prepping the green onions, garlic, and potatoes. Chop the green onions and green garlic and separate the white and light green parts from the green tops. Mince the garlic cloves and combine with the white parts of the green onions.

Sauté white parts of green onions and garlic, add potatoes: In a large pot set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the white parts of the green onions as well as the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the potatoes, and cook 1 minute more.

Add tomatoes, stock, salt, then simmer: Add the diced tomatoes with their liquid and the quart of vegetable or chicken stock.

Add the chickpeas and green peas and cook another 5 minutes.

Add the asparagus and artichoke hearts. Cook 2 minutes.

Add the greens and the green parts from the green onions and green garlic, if using. Stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.

Add pesto, salt, pepper: Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Taste your broth and add black pepper and more salt to taste (depending on how salty your stock is, you may need to add 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt).

Serve topped with grated cheese.

No comments:

Post a Comment