A lot of things are making me happy today…treating myself to coffee at the corner cafe, plotting ways to perk up our place, seeing my precious nephew tomorrow, and finally your amazing response to my Italy series kick-off. I’m so excited to pass along my notes, currently scribbled in a journal with a Colosseum cover that I bought at the train station because who knew about a travel journal?!
This Spring, as I settle in a bit more at my job, get accustomed to a new routine and start having a little more time for me, I’m prioritizing some improvements I want to make. One of the biggest is to stop wasting food. Period. I’ve let it go bad, tossed leftovers after days of neither of us showing interest, and honestly, enough is enough.
One of the reasons I cancelled my CSA the first time was that so much of the produce was going bad so quickly. I’ve been getting much, much better.
This week’s CSA was comprised 100% of items I was eager to use. L’s been under the weather due to the season’s changing and so I did what I do whenever either of us is sick, made a big pot of vegetable soup in my big ‘ol dutch oven I use for everything. The thing of it is, you really can’t go wrong when you’re using fresh vegetables. I try and make sure I have a balance of starchy vegetables, greens, and a few with prominent flavor. I keep seasonings simple and toss in some Parmesan rind if I have it on hand. Try it with whatever vegetables you need to get rid of! A perfect way to make a special something out of those odds and ends.
Early Spring Vegetable Soup
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- handful of sun-dried tomatoes, minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- 2 small heads of broccoli, chopped
- 2 T fresh rosemary
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 quarts vegetable broth
- 1 Parmesan rind
- 2-3 cups of collard greens, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- ~1/4 tsp each cumin and coriander
- 1 c. dry pasta (small shells work well)
- salt to taste
In a dutch oven or large pot, saute 2 cloves of garlic in 2 T olive oil. Add the dried tomatoes and cook until fragrant. Add carrots, parsnip, sweet potatoes, herbs, spices, rind and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add collards and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes. Add pasta and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add salt to taste (be careful!) and serve immediately.