Jamie covered a patch of parsley last autumn with a plastic row cover, which kept it from completely dying off during the winter months. Overwintered parsley in Zone 5 is very hardy and has a strong flavor; you can see in the photo how the leaves are deeper green and compact. Now that we've had several mild days, I was pleased to see the parsley has already begun to sprout new leaves.
We have a lovely patch of broccoli rabe showing new growth. Jamie planted it last fall - it became established before winter set in and should provide an excellent early spring crop. Our sage and thyme patches have also overwintered and should be waking up soon. Oh, and there are still carrots under cover. Jamie has been chiseling carrots by the dozen out of the partially frozen ground all winter. Carrots are always sweeter if picked after a frost - these beauties have been exceptionally sweet and flavorful! I used them in this recipe and photo.
Meanwhile, in the greenhouse there are patches of arugula, yokatta-na, and mache that have reseeded. Surprisingly, six leeks are growing, which is odd because Jamie hasn't grown them in the greenhouse for many years! Evidently leek seeds have been sitting in the soil waiting for conditions to be just right for them to germinate and grow.
I'm always so excited and grateful when these springtime gifts arrive, providing us with early spring edibles . . . a taste of what's to come!
Rustic Vegetable Bean Soup
• 2 teaspoons coconut oil
• 1 medium onion, chopped small
• 2 medium carrots, chopped small
• 2 stalks of celery, chopped small
• 4 garlic cloves, chopped small
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teas dry
• 32 oz low-sodium vegetable broth, preferably homemade
• 32 oz jarred or canned whole tomatoes (can also use crushed, diced, or puree)
• 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 can white beans such as cannellini or great northern, drained and rinsed
• 8 oz dry pasta, small size such as ditalini or elbow
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish
1. In a soup pot, heat coconut oil over medium-low heat; add a bit of chopped onion.
2. When onion begins to sizzle add rest of chopped vegetables, salt and herbs; sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add jarred or canned whole tomatoes to pot; crush tomatoes with clean hand.
4. Add vegetable broth; bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. In the meantime, cook pasta in plenty of water; cook for 2 minutes less time than package directions.
6. Drain pasta and return to pot it was cooked in.
7. Drizzle pasta with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and salt; stir and cover.
8. Keep pasta separate until serving.
To Serve: Fill bowl with 1 scant scoop of pasta and 2 scoops of soup. Drizzle soup with a bit of olive oil (optional). Garnish with parsley.
Judy DeLorenzo is a holistic health practitioner, garden foodie, and daycare founder. She has a deep understanding that food is medicine and "we are what we eat" so we should treat our bodies with respect by eating pure, whole, super nutritious foods. She loves to grow and shop for food, create recipes, cook, take food photos, and share the process with clients, her social media audience, family, and friends. You can learn more about Judy's healing practice at Biofield Healing and enjoy her blog posts at A Life Well Planted. Read all of Judy's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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