Every Spring I get the urge to lighten things up a little bit.
Eat more veggies.
Clean out the closets.
Make it to yoga a few more times each week.
Right now I’m in the midst of this seasonal urge.
Do you feel the same way?
Artie does. He has been the one nudging me out of bed at 6am to get us to yoga, and he has been eating a lot of healthy, vegetarian food.
This is the same husband that lives for R.F O’Sullivan’s cheeseburgers, and coffee ice cream.
And Buffalo chicken wings. Especially, Buffalo chicken wings.
But he has been subtly healthy-ing up his lifestyle lately.
Which means I have too. Because dragging your butt out of bed when it’s still dark out, is easier to do when you aren’t leaving a contentedly sleeping body behind.
I’d like to think it was my nagging that caused this shift…
but he has relayed very clearly that was NOT the cause.
Apparently, he realized that not only does he dress, work, and act (mostly) like an adult these days.
His metabolism has matured as well.
And he has no intention of ending his passionate love affair with beer.
Especially now that it’s warm enough to drink it outdoors, with great friends and good food.
Here is a fresh, and healthy vegetarian minestrone soup recipe I wrote for The Boston Globe this week.
It’s packed with greens, and beans, and lot’s of savory flavor. Add a salad and a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the broth and you have a satisfying, meatless meal that makes you feel great.
Though you might feel even better if you top it off with a small scoop of really good ice cream.
Vegetarian minestrone soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (14 ounces) canellini beans, drained
1 piece (3 inches) Parmesan rind (optional)
1 cup conchigliette or other small dried pasta
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (for serving)
1. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, zucchini, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until softened.
2. Add the garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute more.
3. Add the stock, water, tomatoes, beans, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and set on the cover askew. Simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Stir in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally for 7 minutes or until the pasta is just tender, but still has some bite. Remove the Parmesan rind.
5. Turn off the heat. Stir in the spinach. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan.