Malcolm’s favorite soup

Tomato and white bean soup

We went away for a couple of days. Now we’re back, and I’ve got a rotten cold and mountains of laundry, so I’ll tell you about our trip another day, maybe. Although a random helpful stranger told me I should stop talking about my dead dog and get straight to the recipes, so maybe I’ll just get straight to the recipes, and stop with all this meandering chit chat. It’s funny because while we were away, we were at a little party, and I kept talking about my dog. Then we went swimming at dusk, with the Blue Ridge mountains all around us in gorgeous shades of dark green. It was an ecstatic moment! As I was helping Isaac change out of his swimsuit, I said, “I should probably stop talking about Steenbeck so much!” And he gave me a hug with his small, smooth, post-swimming-cool-self and said, “It’s okay, Mom, you miss her, we all do.” He’s six years old! Don’t look now but I’m doing it again!

So, this soup. We’re going to have a bean, grain and veg week, here at The Ordinary, to adjust for our reckless holiday spending and the fact that I missed a weekend of work. We’re keeping it on a low budget! We drove for more than six hours yesterday, and got home very late (on a school night!) We’d also eaten lots of junk food over the previous few days. (For the trip down we packed fritos and nutter butters, and we stopped at Dunkin Donuts!). So we wanted something quick and nourishing. I turned to an old standby – Malcolm’s favorite soup. I suppose this is actually a minestrone, because it’s a tomato-white bean soup, and the boys eat it with heaps of pasta. It’s flavored with rosemary, thyme, smoked paprika and cayenne. We’re growing lots of basil, I’m delighted to report, so we added a handful of that, too!! It’s a little bit creamy, though cream-free, because I puree a small amount. It’s very easy, very tasty, and even Isaac ate three bowls of it yesterday.

Here’s Toots and the Maytals with Country Roads, because we drove along a lot of country roads the last few days.
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Root vegetable minestrone

Root vegetable minestrone

I was in the mood for something really simple. Just vegetables in a warm broth, slightly sweet/slightly tart. I liked the idea of using root vegetables, because they seem perfect for the time of year, and for the simplicity I was seeking. They also have a nice contrast of sweet (carrot, sweet potato) and slightly more assertive (turnip). I seasoned this very simply – just rosemary, basil, oregano and a little fennel seed. I made pasta to add if you wanted, which, I suppose, is what makes this minestrone and not just vegetable soup. I used elbows, because there’s something sort of childish and soup-out-of-a-cannish about them, which I like. And I added a few spoonfuls of sugar when it was cooking, and squeezed a lemon in at the end, but you could easily leave out the sugar and let the vegetables shine with their own sweetness. SInce this is supposed to be simple, I’m going to stop talking about it and tell you how I made it!

Here’s Mikey Dread’s Roots and Culture.
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