Vegetable Soup with White Beans and Rice

How was your New Years Eve? Did you guys do anything exciting? Please tell me you did. Let me live vicariously through your champagne and sequins. I fell asleep at 10 pm. Not on the couch, or on the floor, or at the bar. I made the conscious decision to leave the couch where Terminator 3/4/5? was playing, to go upstairs to my bed and go to sleep, and I am still really disappointed in myself.

I did manage to stay up long enough to have a glass of pink champagne and eat half a bag of all dressed chips, which is as exciting as it gets these days, if you're not counting my 3 month-old baby who just got his first two teeth, and the worst cold ever, at the same time. And if you think that's bad, Brent and I were also sick, which meant that we were a bunch of crusty jerks, coughing and sneezing and bitching at the same time. And if Sebastian knew how to talk, I'm sure he would have been bitching right there with us, but instead, he lay in my arms, barely able to breathe, coughing and sneezing, eyes goopy, fever, the works. And for a small second I contemplated going out and buying the Nosefrida just so I could help him breathe, but who are we kidding, there is no way that I was going to suck the snot out of his nose. I just can't. I won't.

We're all feeling much better now. We're back in Seattle, trying to get Sebastian back on PST, which is the worst. There were a couple of days last week where I was tempted to break out the bourbon and drink myself to sleep, but instead, I persevered through the loud and hysterical crying, soothing and comforting him until he passed out from sheer exhaustion. Real life. He's finally back to the happy bouncy baby that we know him to be, which is a relief because tired angry Sebastian is a little much to deal with.

I'm currently in super crazy let's finally pick a color and paint these walls/get the bathroom finished/remodel the kitchen mode, and it is all-consuming. I lay awake at night with visions of hexagon tile and paint samples in my head. Brent's been drywalling the bathroom, and our house looks like the dessert on a windy day. I am attempting to paint the new doors that we just purchased, and they are currently lying in the front room, so it's basically a shit-show around here.

In order to keep ourselves healthy and sane, I've been trying to keep some good nourishing food in the fridge. Food that's quick and easy to heat up in a pinch, because with all the projects and the baby and the dog to look after, it often feels like we don't have the time to sit down and eat a proper meal, which leads to a lot of take-out. And there's nothing wrong with a little take-out here and there, but pizza 3 nights in a row just seems so right but also so wrong.

At the beginning of the week, I whipped up this pot of vegetable soup, enough to get us through a few meals this week. I was immediately inspired when a post popped up in my feed for Smitten Kitchen's Parmesan broth. I made a quick broth using her recipe, and then I added a whole lot of veggies, potatoes, white beans, and rice. I topped it with a generous pour of really good olive oil, and a decent amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If you've got a loaf of crusty bread lying around, I image this soup would taste incredible with a few pieces of cut-up bread on top.



serves 8 - 10 

recipe adapted from 

Smitten Kitchen's 

Parmesan broth

prep time: 10 minutes

cooking time: 90 minutes

6 cups vegetable broth

6 cups water

4 oz Parmesan rind

2 large shallots, peeled and halved

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

1 tsp peppercorns

1 tsp salt

2 carrots, sliced

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 large Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped finely

1 can white beans, rinsed

1 cup cooked rice

2 cups kale, chopped

Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, add the broth, water, Parmesan rind, shallots, garlic, peppercorns, salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for one hour. Strain the broth, and place it back on the stove on low-medium heat.

Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes to the broth and simmer until the vegetables are soft - 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the beans, cooked rice, and kale and cook for 5 - 10 minutes, until the kale is soft.

Serve with grated Parmesan on top.