I got home at a (relatively) decent hour today so I had a bit more time to devote to dinner, although recent poor eating habits and lack of exercise, both due to being extremely busy, made me want to focus on a salad for dinner, which in my exhaustion I obtained from Wegmans’ salad bar. But because this busy-ness caught me by surprise, I realized I had a lot of veggies purchased last week that I was running out of time to use, so I decided to also use a bunch of stuff up by making minestrone. Soup and salad is always a healthy and light, but filling, meal in my opinion. It does not make for very innovative blog posts, but I was knackered today and not at my creative best.


(That’s a rather Albuquerque-skyline kind of ingredients photo, isn’t it?)

1 leek or onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
6 cups veggie stock or vegan “chicken” broth (if using a high-sodium bouillon, make it half-strength)
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 red potatoes, chopped
1 handful green beans, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup small pasta, such as macaroni, orzo, letters, etc.
1 handful fresh spinach
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 drops stevia or 1 tsp sugar, optional

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the chopped leek or onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.

If necessary, deglaze the pot with white wine, stock, or water. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.

Add the stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, potatoes, green beans, and zucchini.

Cover and cook for half an hour. Add the pasta and oregano and cook for 15 minutes or until pasta is thoroughly cooked.

Add spinach, salt, and pepper. Add the optional stevia or sugar if it needs a tiny hint of sweetness. Cook for 3 minutes.

Serve with a salad. I made the creamy Italian dressing from How it All Vegan.

The items balanced on my soup bowl are bread sticks. Mark thought they were chopsticks. Then he thought they were meant for spearing the annellini (rings) pasta I used. Then he figured out they were edible and ate ten of them. I actually bought them for you, dear readers, not to confuse Mark. I thought they’d add interest to what I knew was going to be a boring picture of soup. They did end up looking like chopsticks. (And it WAS fun to spear the annellini.)

Despite my fatigue, while making the soup, I seasoned my new wok, which arrived today. Tigger was very excited about the box. He sure loves boxes.

The first few times I captured the cats in mid-yawn, I thought it was an amazing stroke of luck. Then I realized that the cats are always yawning, and I am always taking their picture.

How does such a ridiculous cat sitting in a box end up looking so regal? Must be my fine photography skills.

In other news, Mark pointed out last night that I’ve left you hanging in regards to this post, but the fact of the matter is it’s not ready yet! Should be ready on Friday. Maybe tomorrow.


  1. Sarah Said,

    June 19, 2008 @ 12:08 am

    I thought they were chopsticks too, and was a bit confused on eating soup with them. 🙂

  2. Alexis Said,

    June 19, 2008 @ 1:50 am

    Albuquerque? Are you from Albuquerque?

    I love Tigger, by the way. The nutritional yeast post cracked me up.

  3. renae Said,

    June 19, 2008 @ 11:10 am

    No, I’m not from Albuquerque. I’ve never even been to Albuquerque. Honestly, I didn’t even know for sure how to spell Albuquerque. I just thought that without the usual soy sauce, vinegar, and olive oil bottles the ingredients looked like the skyline of a very low city. So to construct my metaphor I thought about places that were flat and came up with New Mexico.

    As for chopsticks, the soup was so thick you probably could have eaten it with chopsticks!

  4. Alexis Said,

    June 20, 2008 @ 10:43 am

    Oh, funny. I am from Albuquerque, and I was racking my brain trying to remember if the arrangement did look anything like Albuquerque or not. The Muir Glen tomatoes and the other can do look a bit like the Twin Buildings. (Albuquerque isn’t flat though…It’s nestled in the Rio Grande Valley surrounded by mountains, most notably the Sandia Mountains, which are 5000 feet high; the crest is at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level.)

  5. renae Said,

    June 21, 2008 @ 1:29 am

    Well that shows how much I know about Albuquerque! I did look at a picture of the skyline before saying that, in case it did have a lot of really tall buildings after all, and it looked a lot shorter than the cities I’ve spent the most time in: Baltimore, DC, and New York. It is funny that I’d make a joke about it and one of the three people that actually read this thing would be from there!

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