soup for him and cake for me.

The weather is turning cold again, and I am glad to be able to turn off my air conditioner. Cooler weather also calls for warmer food. Monday night I made minestrone soup. I was in the first grade the first time I ever made minestrone. It's an easy soup with lots of vegetables, room for alterations, and a classic crowd-pleaser. Usually I compliment this meal with some cheddar-garlic biscuits or cornbread.

Minestrone Soup 1 16-ounce can (2 cups) kidney beans
1 clove garlic (minced)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup shopped fresh parsley
1 small fresh zucchini, unpeeled and diced
2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion
1 16-ounce can (2 cups) whole tomatoes, cut up with a spoon
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 ½ cups water
1/3 cup elbow macaroni, uncooked
½ cup beef bouillon or tomato juice, salt to taste
  1. Put beans in a large kettle and mash them slightly with a fork.
  2. Add garlic, salt, pepper, oil ad parsley. Stir well.
  3. Add all vegetables, butter and water to the kettle. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Lower heat, cover the kettle and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. After 1 hour, add macaroni and beef bouillon or tomato juice. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste.
Serves 6 to 8

  • Start early! I usually plan to start 1.5–2 hours before I want to serve dinner. It takes time to chop the vegetables, and the soup simmers for 1 hour and then an extra 15 minutes after adding the macaroni. Be patient. Eat cheddar-garlic biscuits as an appetizer.
  • Instead of tomato juice, I usually save the juice from the can of whole tomatoes and add it at the end with the macaroni.
  • There is lots of room to be flexible. I usually add black beans and some extra quantities of vegetables.
  • The garlic and parsley aren't deal-breakers. If you don't have any, don't worry about it.
  • I prefer adding more than 1/2 c. of macaroni. The more extras you add, the more water you might need to add. This isn't really a "soupy" soup; everything soaks up the water pretty quickly after you remove it from the heat and the consistency is more like goulash.
  • You don't have to use elbow macaroni. Switch it up and make it fun with any type of noodle. I really like spirals or mini shells.
Last night, Nate and I went to dinner at Mafiaoza's with Sam, Anne, and John Henry. Mafiaoza's has lousy reviews on Google, but it wasn't bad. I still think Buzzard's Pizza in Lyndon, Kansas, makes the best pizza in the world, but on Monday nights Mafiaoza's has two-for-one specials and the atmosphere is nice, so it was good to spend the evening with friends. I was a little confused by what exactly two-for-one meant, but basically whatever you order, they'll bring you two of it. I ordered a slice of pepperoni and they brought me two. (Keep that in mind so you don't end up with twice as much food as you want!) Slices start at $2.75 (they're really big) and then extra toppings are extra ($.50 for pepperoni, for example).

Tonight I am making loaded Hebrew National hot dogs on toasted hoagie buns and milkshakes, per Nate's request. Yesterday I took a 1/2 day of vacation and Nate and I went to the park and played basketball and Scrabble and hit some golf balls. The leaves are turning here in Nashville and they are beautiful. Looking forward to some rest this week.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Alyssa,
    I'm loving your blog! I wanted to let you know there's a place in Hillsboro Village called Cabana that has 2-for-1 pizzas on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. They have a couple listed on the menu, but you can also make your own. They're really tasty, and a great deal!


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