Sunday, September 26, 2010

Soup with a side of sass.

I was a busy beaver this weekend, rummaging through the closets, organizing for the change of seasons. That is what I love so much about Minnesota. We've got four very different seasons, if we're lucky. Sometimes winter can drag on and on and summer can feel a bit short for those that like it hot and sticky. I happen to love autumn. The chill in the air, perfect for sweatshirts, fuzzy socks, bonfires and hearty warm soups and stews!
I did a little searching on the web, what a glorious thing! I could waste hours on food sites; scanning recipes!
I found this one that I wanted to share:
Hearty Tuscan White Bean.
I cooked it in the crock pot, letting the house fill with it's aroma while I dug out my beloved "bin of warmth", where I store fuzzy socks, pj's and sweaters in the summer. The thought of eating this when the pitching and ditching was done kept me going long after I wanted to throw up my hands and say forget it this is a complete mess!

It was SO good.
Grab your pens, or turn on the printer here we go:

Hearty Tuscan White Bean Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion,chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery,chopped
2 carrots, chopped

3 (14oz) cans of Chicken broth*
1 (14oz) can diced Tomatoes, undrained
2 (15oz) cans white beans, any variety
1 (10oz) packaged frozen, chopped Spinach thawed*
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leave
3/4~1cup macaroni, uncooked*
salt & pepper
grated parmesan cheese to serve


  1. Heat oil in 4 quart soup pot over medium heat.

  2. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and thyme. Cook until vegetables are tender. About 10 minutes.*

  3. Add chicken broth, tomatoes and bay leaf

  4. Drain beans and roughly mash about 1/2 of a can of beans. Add beans and mashed beans to pot.

  5. Squeeze the water from the thawed spinach*, add to pot

  6. Season with salt and pepper, simmer for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes.

  7. Add macaroni, cook until tender according to directions on package.

  8. Serve sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese and a nice crusty bread.
* I cooked mine crock pot style so here are the changes I made.

  • I like my soup; soupy so I added 4 cans of broth, other wise there wasn't enough broth for my liking.

  • I forgot to by the frozen spinach, so I used the fresh bagged stuff.

  • I liked diatini noodles. {the little round tube ones, not elbow mac}

  • I cooked all my veggies according to the directions, at the very end I added my fresh spinach. Oh, the colors ROCKED!

  • Put it everything EXCEPT the noodles in the crock pot. I added the pasta when there was about 20 minutes left. next time I'll try 15...use your own judgement.
This soup was SO good, I think some mini italian sausage meatballs would do nicely in it too, but that is more for my husband then myself.

Now I wanted to share a moment with Butter. She is becoming such an opinionated young girl. She has likes and dislikes. Saturday was cool, and I had been working out in the garage most of the day, we went to my in-laws for dinner, where we sat outside until the sun went down. I felt chilled most of the day and decided it would be worth the wait for a bath.
Worth the wait you ask?
We have two bathrooms, one up, one down. Downstairs is the shower. We use everyday. Up is the bathtub; which has pressure issues. Since my husband does not plumb, nor do we have money to hire a plumber to fix it, we are left with a tub that takes 8 buckets from the kitchen sink or an hour to fill using the faucet the tub has now. so needless to say I don't have too many baths. But I decided I was going to have one; I'd light some candles, plug in the ipod and LOCK THE DOORS!
My daughter needed to brush her teeth, and I had prepared my sanctuary, all that I needed was one more bucket of steaming hot water and her to be done in the bathroom. As I came in with my final bucket she said to me: "Mom, why do you get candles? How come I never get candles?"
I sat there and rattled off a good 5 safety reasons in my head and chose my words carefully.
"Butter, I didn't know you wanted candles. Usually you want to play in the tub and that doesn't work with candles."
"Well, I want candles, and I don't play anymore. Besides we never get baths anyway. When can I have a bath? And candles?"
Again choosing my words carefully, because she forgets NOTHING; I said "We'll see how tomorrow goes, I'm not making any promises, but we'll see about tomorrow."
She didn't like my answer, but if I had said tomorrow and then didn't follow through she'd be crushed and I'd be crabby, because I would have been hounded to death.
She once asked me to go for a bike ride. Okay, fine, but it was right after dinner. I need time to digest, if I get out on the bike and have an "episode" then what?!?!? I told her to give me 10 minutes. {in my head I'm thinking ask me again in 10 minutes} She on the other hand set the darn timer and when it beeped declared "Okay Mom it's been 10 minutes lets go!"
Yes, I did go for a bike ride with her, but for good measure I told her I would let her know when I was ready; I made her wait another 10 minutes.
Back to the bath.

You'll be happy to know she got her candle-lit bath, but I do have to say it wasn't without complaint.
"Why do I only get 3 candles and Mommy had 7?" she asked her Dad. Had no idea there was counting and comparing going on but dually noted and for the RECORD Butter, because I am an adult and you are a child and I do have safety limits. It was enough worry for me to have the 3 in there AND give her privacy!!! Gotta love her sass!

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