Minestrone Soup

It drizzled this week. It was light, airy and cleansing. During harvest, the first sign of rain turns most people into a commotion. To me, it is a refreshing reminder of the changing of the seasons.

I could not help but think about something warming. Soup. It was the first thing on my mind when I stepped out of the door on that first rainy day. Yesterday, the rain lightened and eventually turned to sunshine, however, the inexplicable desire to warm my belly was unavoidable. Knowing the Mr. was a work till late getting wet and was probably going to come home hungry and the fact that I needed to ultimately clean out the fridge of elder vegetables , I made what I felt was the most suiting, Minestrone.

It was perfectly really, because at the time, I was also trying to juggle making tomato jam from the massive influx of tomatoes onto our table that had occurred the day before the rain came. It allowed me to "chop and chuck" so to speak, and allowed me to let it simmer while I continued with my project. And despite its humble ingredients, it was absolutely delicious.

Minestrone Soup
1 large onion, chopped
1 TB dried oregano
1 TB dried thyme
1 tsp dried tarragon
2 small fennel bulbs, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
3-4 large tomatoes, chopped
3/4-1 bag (16oz) frozen spinach
1 box quinoa shells 
2 quarts of chicken broth
olive oil

Amazingly, I made this all with one pot. Well I suppose it isn't amazing, but I was short on pots and space, so I was attempting to utilize the kitchen as best as I could, so feel free to do several of these tasks at once if you feel inclined.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and then salt the water and add the quinoa shells. Allow to cook al dente, then strain into a colander and set aside.

I then used the same pot and coated the bottom with olive oil and added the bacon, after about a minute of the bacon simmering alone, add the herbs and onions, and saute for about a few minutes until the onions become translucent, then add the garlic and saute for another minute.

Add the tomatoes, fennel bulb, carrots & celery and saute for 1-2 more minutes, then add the spinach and chicken broth.  Bring this to a hard boil, then turn to medium to allow this to simmer for approximately 30 minutes.

Add the pasta and zucchini and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Salt and pepper to taste.

I would like to apologize that there are no pictures available at this time, but should I so concoct some in the next few days I will post.

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