A few weeks ago I bought a bag of Bean Soup Mix, with plans to use it during Lent. If those beans looked cheerful through the plastic bag, they more than brightened up the kitchen when released. I couldn’t stop taking their picture.
Then I washed them in the colander, and Mr. Glad said they looked like pebbles on the beach. Ah, no wonder they were captivating me. So I took their picture again.
I wanted my soup to be heavy on the vegetables, so one day I chop-chop-chopped and made colorful piles of collards, carrots, celery and several other ingredients all over the kitchen. After the beans soaked overnight and cooked a while by themselves, in went the vegetables, then some herbs and vegetable stock, and it seemed no time at all before I had my soup just the way I wanted.
It would be minestrone if it only had some tomato — that’s the one common soup ingredient I didn’t add in this case. The soup is not Asian, Tex-Mex, Italian or curried, so it will do nicely as Plain Food. We can use the break from the many spicy or highly flavored dishes I make so often. And vegetables – I think they are, dietarily speaking, my staff of life.