It’s mid-October and we’ve had our first cold-snap! For us in South Florida, that means the mercury “dipped” to a low of 73° at night. And only got to 85° during the day. Break out the flannel.
I’ve been here long enough that I can actually detect those minuscule 2°to 3° changes. I noticed it yesterday when I was bringing in the recycling bins. I stepped outside and instead of being hit with a steamy blast of humidity, the air felt breathable – as in I could breathe without gills. It wasn’t cool exactly, but it wasn’t sweat-inducing, either. So there you go. Fall in the tropics.
In honor of this (ever so gradual) shift in seasons, I made a big pot of minestrone. It’s a healthy, veggie and grain packed version that is delicious for dinner, but also works well packed in a thermos for a school lunch or nuked in the break room at the office.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized coins
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, sliced crosswise into 1/2" pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 - 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 14-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup diced red potato
- 1/2 cup farro
- 1/2 cup ditalini (or other small pasta)
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup frozen green beans
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic and sauté, until vegetables are slightly softened.
- Add the potatoes, basil, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the tomatoes, kidney beans and farro. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the pasta and cook to al dente (according to package directions). Three to four minutes before the pasta is finished cooking, stir in the frozen beans, corn and peas. You want the pasta to be done and the veg to be heated through, but not mushy. Serve.