Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Monday, July 5, 2010


I have my first full blown zucchini blossoms at the garden and a number of small green tomatoes. While visiting the community garden where our small plot is located, we happened upon a woman with a hose who announced that when she comes to take care of her garden, she waters all of the gardens and this usually happens every other day. Now, on the one hand, it's very nice of her to do this. On the other, I feel a bit put off by it. I mean, this is my garden and I'm not sure I appreciate her 1. Infringing on the gardens of others. and 2. Not finding a way to announce her helpfulness to the rest of us, who have been watering our gardens on top of her every other day waterings. I'm curious, is this a valid upset to have? I couldn't decide if it would be rude and ungrateful to ask her not to water my garden, but at the same time, this is my garden. Thoughts?

Either way, the time of harvest draws near. But as I continue to wait, here is the first of many recipes to come featuring zucchini. I made Minestrone on thursday night and have been eating its leftovers ever since. I can't remember where I found this recipe now but it has its flaws and each time I make it, I have to find ways of correcting, however, it makes a very flavorful Minestrone, albeit more of a stew than soup when all's said and done, but then, my man isn't a soup fan anyway.


4 c. veggie broth
4 c. tomato, diced
1 T basil
1/2 t oregano
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 small zucchini, chopped
1 c green beans, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 c macaroni (or other small pasta)
2 potatoes, diced
1 small can cannellini beans
1 small can kidney beans

1. Cook pasta as directed, drain and set aside. In an advanced effort to get my six-year-old to eat the Minestrone, I allowed him to pick any noodle he wanted in the Italian aisle at Giant Eagle. He opted for wagon wheels.

2. In large pot, combine all ingredients except pasta. Bring to boil and boil about half an hour, covered. Reduce to low and simmer for at least one hour, or until veggies are tender. This is one of the fixes I make to this recipe which only simmers the soup and at the end, none of the veggies are cooked all the way unless you leave it on the stove all day long. Instead, I had the half hour or so boil. Due to this, if the liquid gets too low, add water to the pot to fit your desired level of soupiness. I usually don't add much and let it be more of a stew.

3. Add pasta and bring back to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes to give pasta time to develop to flavors of the pot. Fish out the bay leaf and serve, sprinkled with grated cheese if you wish. I often do.

I'll continue to search for the perfect Minestrone recipe that is also uncomplicated, but until I find it, this one is pretty tasty and best of all, quick. Plus, during a hot summer week like this, it's nice to have a meal made before the heat wave that leaves behind enough leftovers to last through several nights of microwave reheating. The less added heat in this unair-conditioned apartment, the better.

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