Winter Minestrone

Thanks again for your continued virtual hugs about Ed. Tony hasn’t gotten the courage to read the comments to yesterdays post, but I know when he’s ready he will appreciate it!

Since I got home so late Thursday night, I didn’t prepare anything for my Souper Friday at work.  I had promised minestrone soup and my rosemary artisan bread.  I ended up making the dough Thursday night and just left it on the counter.

So here was my morning yesterday:

  • 7:00 – wake up 30 minute after my alarm went off – shit!
  • 7:02 – heat oven with dutch oven in it to 450 degrees
  • 7:04 – roll out dough and put in parchment paper
  • 7:05 – put water in a pot to cook pasta for minestrone
  • 7:07 – download pictures for blog post
  • 7:10 – write blog post and publish
  • 7:25 – drain pasta and put in container
  • 7:30 – brown sausage for minestrone soup
  • 7:35 – throw every other ingredient needed in a bag to take to work
  • 7:40 – jump in the shower
  • 7:50 – take bread out of the oven
  • 7:55 – pack the car
  • 8:00 – leave for work

Whew!  Luckily I had a slow morning at work and I could assemble the rest of the soup there.  This one got RAVE reviews.  I adapted the recipe from this one – she had swiss chard and onions and mushrooms in hers (#not).

Winter Minestrone

Ingredients

  • this made a lot! probably 15 cups? Each cup serving: 211 calories, 6.1 fat, 387 carbs, 6.3 fiber and 8.4 protein
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of sweet Italian sausage (I used Johnsonville)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced
  • One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • Two cans of water (using the 28 ounce can)
  • six packets of chicken broth
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 stem of fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can northern beans (rinsed and drained)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups of spinach, roughly chopped
  • 8 ounces shell pasta, cooked separately

Instructions

  1. So here’s how I put this together. At home I cooked the pasta and browned the sausage in the 1 teaspoon olive oil. When I got to work, I put the tomato sauce, tomato paste, two cans of water, and the chicken broth packets and using a whisk, broke up the tomato paste. I added the garlic, carrots and celery, rosemary, Italian seasoning cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper and turned my crock pot to high, or 4 hour setting.
  2. After two hours, the carrots were cooked, but still had a nice texture. I drained the cans of beans and added those. 15 minutes before serving I added in the cooked pasta. 5 minutes before serving, I added the fresh chopped spinach.
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The sausage really flavored the soup nicely, and everyone liked the added heat of the cayenne pepper.  The only mistake I made was leaving the crock pot on high before I went to go work out – my noodles were kind of way overcooked by the time I ate it at 1:30, so my suggestion if you make this is to keep the noodles on the side, that way when you reheat the leftovers the pasta isn’t over cooked.

I ended up walking for my workout – my blood sugar was at 185 and I didn’t want to overdo it – felt good though to get moving!
workout

Everyone LOVED the bread.  I thought ahead and saved myself a small piece, because when I got back from the gym nothing was left.  The cost of the ingredients for this soup was $11, the sausage being the most expensive ingredient at $5 for the 1 pound package.  I made $44 dollars, so I net $33 bucks – not bad!

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And dinner was simple – I defrosted some Cincinnati chili and had chili mac for dinner – with lots of Buffalo Tabasco – I am almost out though!

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So you guys know that I don’t keep it a secret that I can’t stand KERF.  If you missed it, I’ve had two controversial posts about her.

If you haven’t seen www.smugnom.com, you can read KERF post recaps there without actually going to KERF’s site.  I just love that they call her husband Bath Matt.  And she shared the pictures Kath shares with the world, such as this classic:

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So imagine my surprise when I went to the computer last night to download my pictures, and Tony so thoughtfully changed our screen saver:

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Thanks for making me laugh Tony – I needed that!

We are going grocery shopping and then going out to lunch – we tried to go to this place last weekend but they stopped serving lunch at 2:00 and we got there at 1:55. Sad smile

Doesn’t this look delicious?!

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Mara, you and I need to have dinner here soon!

Other than that, we have no plans – here’s hoping the snow out East isn’t too bad – sending virtual hugs to all my blog friends out there – hang in there!

Have a great weekend – see you on Monday!