Minestrone is one of my favorite meals from when I was little.
My mom made this about once a week, and the full pot was well depleted by the time we all had second and third bowls.
You can put any veggies you have on hand into minestrone, but this version works well with our kids. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.
- 6 potatoes, diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 28 oz can or jar of crushed tomatoes, blended if desired for extra smoothness
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp each oregano and basil
- 1/2 package gluten-free spaghetti, broken up into little pieces
- 2 15 oz cans white kidney or cannellini beans, drained (about 2-3 cups)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup vegan parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast for sprinkling at the table (optional)
In a large pot, heat the chopped up potatoes and water or broth together over medium-high heat. Make sure it’s enough water so the potatoes are just barely floating on the surface (not completely covered). Bring to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Add the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic powder, and oregano to the pot along with the beans.
Turn the heat up to medium, toss in the broken up spaghetti, and cook for 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente (not crunchy and not mushy, but somewhere in the middle).
Add in the frozen peas and corn (this cools it off to a nice eatable temperature), and salt and pepper to taste.
Mix everything together, taste once more to make any last salt adjustments, and serve with vegan cheese and freshly ground pepper for those who want such garnishes. Enjoy! ❤️
I find this poem by Thich Nhat Hanh equally comforting: Please Call Me By My True Names.
Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow —even today I am still arriving.
Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a Spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.
I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his “debt of blood” to my people
dying slowly in a forced-labor camp.
My joy is like Spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.
May we all have greater compassion today, for ourselves and each other.