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You may have noticed that I like to cook by color. This is my favorite minestrone. The original only uses 4 cups of tomato juice, but I usually forget about the leftover and it goes bad in my fridge. This time I dumped it all in. It gives the soup an extra tomato kick, which I love. It also yielded 8 pint jars of yummy lunches. This is a great soup to freeze. It’s also a great slow-cooker soup (just remember: add pasta at the very end).

  • 4c veggie broth
  • 6c tomato juice
  • 1 med chopped red onion
  • 2-3 chopped red or orange carrots
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1T dried basil
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 15oz can white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup dry pasta (I like mini shells or mini elbows)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

Sauté onion, carrot, red pepper in olive oil until soft. Add garlic, sauté until fragrant. Add basil, stir about a minute. Add broth, juice, tomatoes, beans. Bring to boil and let simmer. 15 minutes serving, add pasta. Salt to taste.

Notes about freezing soup:

  • I am in the process of converting to all wide mouth mason jars. No matter how careful I am, the others break too easily. The tapered neck can’t handle the expansion of freezing soup.
  • Leave extra room at the top for expansion. (See above.)
  • Cool before putting in the fridge, obviously, but keep the ones you want to freeze in the fridge at least a day before putting in the freezer. Do this especially for non-wide mouth jars.
  • Plastic lids are awesome.
  • If you forget to take it out the night before, soaking in a bowl of cool water for a bit will help make defrosting faster.

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We didn’t do much of anything. I shoveled snow, she played video games. We watched BTVS, I worked, she made an easy-bake-oven cake. It was nice hibernating just the two of us, but we’re ready to get back to regular life tomorrow. 

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I really thought she would need help putting this together. I looked forward to it, actually. Right now I’m just the shoulder she leans on if she gets frustrated while she figures it out. I’ll take what I can get. 

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“I wish I could fly so I could go up and lay on the clouds.” – 9 yo daughter 

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slow-cooker split pea and potato soup :: 1 lb dried split peas, 6 cups water or veggie stock, sautéed onions/carrots/garlic, diced potato, dried thyme, salt :: add extra liquid if making on stove top :: blend some finished soup for extra creaminess 

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found these on the kitchen table after we started season two 

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1 beet, 1 bell pepper (yellow, orange, or red), a few limes, some multi-colored carrots

Try to make around 12 oz, fill two 4 oz jars for the fridge, and drink the rest.

I’m not the most sophisticated juicer. I only have one other recipe (green) and my refrigerated juice probably makes purists cringe, but just this little bit puts a spring in my step each day.

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Last week I had to bribe her with a donut to try Han Mu Do. This week she’s rockin’ it.

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Tonight our family played Prairie Life™, a game created by my daughter and her friend. It’s kind of like Monopoly, but instead of jail, you get sent to enemy territory. It’s ok if you have a “hide in a log” card; your animal won’t lose a health chip. Life on the prairie is tough.

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My daughter went to her first Husker basketball game last night. At first she didn’t want to go. We don’t watch basketball in our house, so she doesn’t really know the game. “Just think of it as a fun night out with your BFF,” I told her.

“I hope it’s women’s basketball,” she said. It was, and she loved it. Now she wants to watch all the college games. The sneaker squeaks are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Maybe if we turn the volume down?

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