mezzaluna spinach soup

Not only is the school year coming to a close which is a whirlwind time but for the past two weeks, David and I have been fighting off a nasty cold. Our evenings have been consumed with sneezing, coughing, and trying to go to bed early. Yet, with the piles of grading calling to me from my work bag, I have tried to balance my need/desire for rest with the never-ending task of providing students with feedback on their assignments.  This has left dinners in a black hole. Last week, we simply pillaged our pantry. Which allowed us to eat through stocked items and goods that should have been eaten earlier but which also meant that we ate too many cheeseburgers and random meals for people trying to reinforce their immune systems. Finally on Sunday, there was (a) time and (b) ability to go grocery shopping. The only dilemma that remained was our low energy. We decided that since there was still a chill in the evening air that soup was probably our best bet. It would warm us up, include healthier ingredients than our depleted pantry, and would be quick and easy to pull together. This giant bowl of soup has sustained us thus far and hopefully after this week, we will both be in a place to rejoin the living.

1 box mezzaluna tortellini pasta

1 can 28oz diced tomatoes

6-8 cups vegetable stock

1 can white beans

1 bag of baby spinach

1 onion diced

3 garlic gloves diced

salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Parmesan cheese

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In a large pot, saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until fragrant and translucent. About 3-5 minutes.

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Add the broth, spices to taste, diced tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta and beans and simmer with a partially open lid until pasta is cooked to al dente. Add in a stir spinach until wilted.

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Serve with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

hearty basil minestrone soup with lentils

I have been a bit negligent on sharing recipes since we learned we were pregnant and the school year kicked into high gear.  While we have been eating, I haven’t been sharing. Recently, we prepared and ate Eat Live Run’s shredded beef enchilada recipe and it was delicious. But once the meal was prepared I went into a feeding frenzy and gobbled it up before I could snap a photo of the delicious meal. Clearly, I need to snack these days while preparing dinner if I want to keep blogging about our recipes!

So on Monday night that is exactly what I did. While snacking on some chips and salsa, I prepared this absolutely delicious hearty basil minestrone soup with lentils.  We ate it a a friend’s house during the holiday season and it was such a belly warming meal that I have been craving it ever since.

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It is sort of a hodgepodge meal that can be made in a variety ways, but it is delicious and was super quick to throw together, which is always a must after a busy work day.

Olive Oil

1 onion chopped

2 cups of pasta (I used penne noodles because it is what we had but you could really use anything including big lasagna noodles which you could break up with a fork)

4 garlic cloves chopped

3 carrots chopped

1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped

2 celery sticks chopped

6 cups of vegetable broth

1 28oz can of diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

4 tablespoons of basil.

1 cup of cooked lentils

In a small saucepan, prepare the lentils according to the package and set aside to incorporate into the soup.

In a large pot, add the olive oil and onions and saute on medium heat for about 7-10 minutes or until the onions are golden and fragrant. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots and stir for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, and broth.  Add a dash of salt, some pepper and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Once boiling add the pasta in order to cook. Once the pasta is cooked to al dente, stir in the kale and let wilt. Finally stir in the cup of lentils and the 4 tablespoons of basil.  Serve by topping with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy (particularly if it is a cold night!).