Thursday, May 10, 2012


Getting tired of the "monkey" thing? All part of the long-con branding strategy.
Anyway, I stole this recipe from someone on TV, revved it up and drove it into two other recipes at top speed.

They can't be disentangled now, and as I was driving that fateful night the wreckage is all mine to share.

It's a great soup, particularly in winter. Not the season for now it in most parts of the world, but since it's still cold out here half the week and raining often enough that no one's joking about it for the first time ever, here it is. It's hearty, and healthy. Healthy-ish, anyway. No sides needed, but a really fresh whole-grain bun (with or without olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip) is perfect on the side. Red or white wine, somehow.

Plus, it's vegetarian for Pish, although she might want to skip the beans for a while. No reason.

This looks about right. A full meal for a cold day.

Hearty Veggie Minestrone
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 med zucchini, chopped finely
1 Tbsp dried Basil
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup tiny pasta "rings". I think they call it ring macaroni. Or Occhi di pernice or Anellini or any small or smashed-up pasta
1 can chick peas
1 Bay leaf
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, including the hearts, chopped (both the outside and the leafy inside part of the celery bunch)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound fresh Spinach, leaves coarsely chopped
1 new potato, peeled, cubed
1 (14 1/2-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 can (or 1 cup dried - pre-soaked) cannellini beans (or Great Northern if not available), drained, rinsed
2 (14-oz) cans low-sodium veg broth
1 ounce piece Parmesan cheese rind
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion,
carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute until the onion is
translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the Spinach and potato; saute for
2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the Spinach
is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, (optionally) blend 3/4 cup of the beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a
processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture (if using), remaining
broth, and Parmesan cheese rind to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until
the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the whole beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated
through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and
pepper, to taste. Discard Parmesan rind and rosemary sprig (the leaves
will have fallen off of the stem.)

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

*   *   *

Not a great week for losing weight, but I haven't gained. Struggling to get back outside and walking lately.
It's been cold and wet, and I have devolved into a wimp. My kilted ancestors would be ashamed.


  1. Yeah, your ancestors walk the cold, jagged rocky hills with NO UNDERWEAR. You can walk around the block with a hoody.

    This sounds delicious! Garbanzo and basil... mmm. And no I will never get tired of the Monkey stuff. My alter ego is Monkey girl. Thank you so much for sharing a recipe. I love your cooking style.

    I can almost smell this. Rosemary and basil and pepper and thyme and bay leaves and garlic.

    And then there is that bread just sitting there tempting me, like the bitch it is. I MISS YOU BREAD.

  2. True.
    In other news, it's too hot to go out today. GAH!
    Going out now for a 5k Constitutional. That's 8 miles.
    That'll teach me.

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  3. Stopped reading the main post upon encountering "zucchini."

    Five thousand dollars to walk eight miles? I'd try it.

    1. What's the matter? Zucchini's nice!
      Shake hands with Mr. Zucchini.

  4. Zucchini is delicious dude, although it can go very very wrong. If you don't overcook it it's scrumptious, especially with garlic, onion, and lemon pepper. I feed it to a carnivore who is squeamish about anything that isn't meat or sugar, and he loves it. I lightly fry the edges with olive oil.

    Zucchini is also excellent grilled in long wedges like fries.

    5k constitutional? You went from no walking to a half marathon?

    Thanks for translating your Canuck kilometers for me.

    1. Well, I didn't make it last night ... SO I just did 6k this bright, sunny morning.

      That'll peel breakfast right off me, according to my phone, which knows everything.

      Also meeting with three schools to discuss which one gets me.
      It's not all stress and serial-killing. Ak!

      Then there's that award, which I must blog into something, thank you very much! And five blogs ... hm. Or six.

  5. Whoops! It's 3 miles. Burned on the exchange rate AGAIN.
    Still a nice walk, and I did it AGAIN today.

    Yay for me.