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Comfort in a bowl

February 1, 2013 - Taste Buds
Ah, winter. The time of year when the sun doesn't shine and everything is gray. The Buds were recently driving in this weather for an extended period of time (let's just say it was a Buds trip gone awry), and, on par with the season, it was a gloomy, cloudy, rainy day.

"This weather is depressing," the Buds agreed. "How do the Eskimos stand those periods of the year when there's no sunlight?"

The best solution, the Buds agreed, was to go home, change into some warm sweatpants and a big ol' sweatshirt and curl up on the couch with a warm blanket. That sounds like a little slice of heaven!

What would make it even better? How about some yummy soup to warm your belly?

While the Buds love all things, we really love our veggies. Yes, really! That's why one of our favorite soups is minestrone. It's simple and it's completely customizable. And the best part? It doesn't even have to be exact!

Start with some olive oil and a few cloves of minced, fresh garlic in a soup pot. Toss in some chopped onion and let them cook for a few minutes. When the onions are soft, add your liquid. Both Buds prefer brothy soups, so when you add your broth (chicken, beef, veggie stock -- whatever you want!), you can use as much as you want. The Buds usually end up using almost two of the smaller containers of stock and also a few cups of water. We love BIG pots of soup!

And now, here's where the fun begins. Once you've got your liquid in, just start adding veggies! Diced tomatoes, kidney beans, carrots, celery, peppers, you really can't go wrong! Just toss in whatever you like. Add some salt, pepper, oregano and basil and let this simmer for about 20 minutes.

Next, toss in your pasta and your spinach or kale. Bring everything back to a boil and let this simmer until the pasta is done, about 20 minutes, and VIOLA! You're done! Depending on how many veggies you added, this can be a really hearty soup with a thick slice of toasted garlic bread.

Mmm....the Buds' mouths are watering just thinking about it. Comfort in a bowl.

It's almost enough to make you forget about winter. Just don't look outside.


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