Two things: It was my birthday yesterday, and I’ve been sick. The only food I could think about in the last few days is soup. So, I made some minestrone with fire-roasted tomatoes. And by “some,” I mean an enormous pot.
I don’t know if you’ve picked up on the fact that I tend to churn out food in large quantities. I try to ensure we’ve got leftovers for dinner, or at least lunch (we’ve always been a hot-lunch household), and making a big ol’ pot of soup on the weekend is one of my favorite meal-planning strategies.
Making soup is quite simple, if you buy yourself some good stock. I prefer Kitchen Basics for chicken stock, and Rachael Ray’s vegetable stock. (I have no affiliation with either.) The key is to sauté your veggies in olive oil before adding the stock, for more flavor. Here, I used onions, carrots, celery, frozen cauliflower and green beans, and then added fire-roasted diced tomatoes, plus white beans. I let the minestrone simmer with a nice rind of Romano cheese thrown in, cooked some pasta shells separately so they wouldn’t get mushy, and then served the soup with lots of freshly grated Romano sprinkled on top. I really like the sharpness of the Romano here, but you could use Parmesan, if you prefer.
As for my birthday, I’ve reached the somewhat unremarkable age of 47. It strikes me as a number I’ll have a hard time remembering. It certainly doesn’t share the status of 40, 45 or the big 5-0. But for reference, I’m the same age as Jennifer Aniston and J-Lo. Except, they have stylists. And cool clothes. I’m stuck with the Petites department at Macy’s.
But hey, I forgot to wear my wedding ring while running errands recently, and a balding postal clerk called me “Sweetheart.” So, I’ve got that goin’ for me.
Enjoy the minestrone!
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)