>”Honey, where’s today’s paper?”
“Recycled. You said you were done with it.”
“I was, but then I decided to make the minestrone soup recipe that was in the paper.”
“I can find it for you online.”
“No, thanks, I’ll fly by the seat of my pants.”
Hug. “That usually works well.”
It’s not what you might think. Chuck was making dinner; I had just come home from a Sunday afternoon at school, clearing my desk and preparing the new seating chart for March 1st. He wanted to make the soup, and the newspapers had already gone outside in the recycling. He’s good at winging it, and he remembered the main spices, so he did.
The soup looked good, smelled good, but… I took one bite and coughed until my face turned red. He’d overestimated the crushed red pepper. I couldn’t eat a second bite. Poor guy; neither could he.
Well, faithful readers, here’s the original. Pay attention to the amounts of spices, and don’t try to fly by the seat of your pants – not with the crushed red pepper, in any case.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 each: large onion, celery stalk and peeled carrot, cut into small dice
2 tsps. Italian seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
2 quarts vegetable broth (We used beef stock)
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
2 cans (15 or 16 ounces each) small white beans, undrained
1 cup ditalini or other small, tubular pasta
1 pound seasonal vegetables (see variations below)
Salt and black ground pepper
Optional: Parmesan cheese
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onions, celery and carrots; saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes; saute until fragrant, about a minute longer. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and pasta is tender, about 15 minutes longer. Adjust seasonings, including salt and pepper, to taste.
The original recipe is here at USA Weekend. My only advice: add red pepper sparingly. Please. And serve with lots of liquids, just in case.
In other news, you can still vote for my Zesty Orange Cookies at Foodista; just click the link below.