Vegetable soup that my boys like

Vegetable soup

Vegetable soup

Here at The Ordinary, we have an institute devoted to deciphering The Meaning of Christmas. Apparently, nobody knows what it is anymore, so we have different theories thrown at us with alarming speed. It’s bewildering! Is it the presents? (ask a seven-year-old!) Is it peace on earth good will to all men? Is it the food? Is it the partridge, sitting plumply in the pear tree? The time off work? The hope for snow? The solstice? And then, of course, there’s the Christ, which apparently somebody has stolen from Christmas. This one has been drawn to our attention by lawn signs and billboards. We are not experts, here at The Ordinary, nor are we Christian in any organized sense. And yet we understand about the Christ in Christmas. It’s his birth day, after all, that we’re celebrating! Of course, in our not-very-well-informed opinion, Christ as we understand him is not the sort of fellow to want some big hoopla on his birthday. And he’s certainly not the sort to pout because he doesn’t get a big hoopla from every single person on earth. The problem, for me, is that it often seems as though the people bemoaning the lack of Christ in christmas are the very same people who are opposed to gun control, suspicious of welfare recipients, supportive of lowering taxes for very wealthy people, and of wars that serve no function other than to benefit the oil companies and weapons makers. There’s a disconnect! You can’t have it both ways! Surely a person can’t seethe with righteous rage, as christians, that people don’t say “merry christmas,” without understanding the lessons that christ taught. Admittedly I’m no scholar, but shouldn’t we be working for peace, and helping all people, including the less fortunate, and recognizing the value of good will and good works over money? Charity and forgiveness! This is the time of year to reinforce those ideas, and remind us of their importance, and strive to make the light of our understanding last the whole year!! Holy smoke (get it?) I’m getting all preachy. I apologize!! I’ve obviously been spending too much time in the basement vaults of The Ordinary, pondering the reason for the season, as we examine tinsel through the magnifying glass, and dissect candy canes in petri dishes.

I’ve been making some fancy food lately, in anticipation of Christmas. Double-crusted this, and sugar-crusted that. I felt like making something simple, nurturing, and warming, which almost feels more in keeping with the season, in a way, if that way is that I love my boys so much, and I want to make them healthy and happy, and somehow making a soup they like feels like a rung on that ladder. It’s a very simple soup, just broth and vegetables, and we had it with pasta shaped like tiny shells. But you could serve it over rice if you preferred. And you could always add beans, if your children like them and you felt like upping the protein content, which is always a good thing. I used vegetables my boys like – potatoes, carrots, peas and corn, which also felt like a very basic and traditional type of vegetable soup, but you could always alter to suit your taste.

Here’s Jimmy Smith with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. I love this song, and I love this version!!

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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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