Learning is one of the greatest things about living. Everyday you learn something new. Be it about the world you live in, the people who surround you, or the body you inhabit.
This weekend I learnt a lot about myself. First I’ve learnt that I cannot speak French. I spent the weekend in Paris with my friend and realized that when in France, I want to speak every language I know BUT French. I spoke some English, Spanish, Dutch, and the little Portuguese I know all in one. Not a word of French ever came out of my mouth.
I also learnt that my body cannot handle copious amounts of non-nutritious food. My friend lives a life of sugar and starch. I doubt she understands what life is with vegetables and fruit, while I do not understand how life can be lived with only sugar and starch. I had about a handful worth of vegetables all weekend long. That is not enough for a human.
So having returned to the Netherlands yesterday night, I promised myself I would make a delicious and nutritious meal the following night. I can tell you that I definitely did just that.
If you can’t figure out what that is in the large pot, it is minestrone soup. I have been craving it for some time now and decided to finally go about making it. I made a large amount of it too as I know my body needs to have better food inside it than what I have consumed since Friday.
The recipe I used was from here. I followed the recipe to a T, although I used larger proportions for a larger amount of soup.
- 1 can dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 can cannelini beans (or any white bean rinsed and drained)
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- ½ cup white onion, diced
- ¼ celery, diced
- ¼ cup zucchini, diced
- ¼ cup carrots, shredded
- ¼ cup fresh green beans, cut in 2″ pieces
- 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can Diced Tomatoes
- 2-3 tbsp parsley, chopped (save 1 tbsp for garnish if desired)
- ½ cup small pasta
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp basil
- ¼ tsp
- ½ ground Mediterranean oregano
- ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or large sauce pan and add celery. Cook the celery for a few minutes (because they take longer to soften) and then add onion, zucchini and green beans. Once onions are translucent, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.
- Add the Diced Tomatoes, carrots, the vegetable stock, beans and the spices. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add pasta and cook for 15 minutes. Add spinach during the last 3-4 minutes.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.
Boy, did my body desire such a wonderful thing.
While I was in Paris I had a great time with my friend and making new friends, but the food was just not good for me. Chips, cookies, and other sweet thing just aren’t good for this body of mine. Do you understand what I am saying? No, this isn’t me just feeling guilty about what I’ve eaten. This is my internal organs screaming at me not to eat poorly ever again.
I hope you all enjoy this soup as much as I did.
P.S. Here are some photos of my little weekend vacation. My friend is not in any of the photos as she hates camera’s, instead you will see my new friends.