Alphabet Soup

The soup to eat after the polar vortex arrives

The soup to eat after the polar vortex arrives

The polar vortex was here

and then it returned.

I needed to make food

that couldn’t be burned.

I’ll make some soup

on this cold winter day.

I’ll make it from scratch

so I don’t have to pay

the exorbitant prices

at the grocery store.

I’ll make it from scratch

and then I’ll have more

to send with my family

as they walk out the door.

The soup will last

more than a meal

Wouldn’t you agree

it’s a pretty good deal?

After reviewing the total amount of money we spent last year and finding a big chunk of change going toward food expenditures, I have decided to see if I can save money each month by preparing more home cooked meals in large batches to be taken for lunches or a second meal during the week. Here is my recipe:

MINESTRONE SOUP

servings: about 8 – 10

*** pressure cooker recipe *** You can use canned beans instead of dried beans and you can use a stock pot, but it will take you longer.

1 cup dried garbanzo beans

1/2 cup dried kidney beans

3 cups water

5 bay leaves

a large splash of olive oil

1 large onion chopped

5 garlic teeth minced

a few spoonfuls of Italian seasoning or  basil or oregano

a couple of pinches of salt

1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

5 carrots peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick

2 ribs of celery diced

1/4 lb green beans trimmed and cut in thirds

3  medium potatoes peeled and cubed

1 – 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni

Combine first 4 ingredients in a pressure cooker, secure lid and cook for 12-15 minutes once pressure knob pops. (If using a stock pot with dried beans, they should cook in about and hour, but I would prep the beans first. If using canned beans skip this part). Once beans are soft, pour them into a large bowl (maybe the bowl you will use to store them for leftovers?) and set aside. Add olive oil to pot, then garlic and onion and cook over medium until soft. Add spices, then tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Fill tomato can with water twice and add to pot. Add carrots, celery, green beans, potatoes and macaroni. Add the cooked garbanzo and kidney beans, put the lid on the pressure cooker and cook for 7-8 minutes once pressure knob pops up.

Ladle into a big bowl, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty french bread.