Garden vegetable soup, greens on toast, and getting things done

October 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

This has been a Tuesday for doing things. Running down the checklist with some kind of strange enthusiasm. Bathroom cleaned. Laundry in the machines. Dishwasher running. Phone calls made. Library card obtained – and first book checked out! (I will finish it.) Mail sent and retrieved. Dog fed and walked, lying contentedly under the table on the patio.

Can’t you tell she loves having her picture taken? Really?

Then I felt so satisfied with myself and my use of time that I waltzed out to the swimming pool because, yes, on this 5th of October it is still hot enough. I sat there with my big floppy hat and a magazine all by myself in that quiet, clean little pool area and felt oddly like some rich girl in her private, swanky back yard.

After a while of appreciating the warmth of the sun and the cool of the breeze and my newly painted toenails (another item checked off the list), I slipped in the water for a swim in that empty turquoise pool. A few lazy laps, the whole expanse just for me.

Aaah, Tuesdays. I have the whole morning and afternoon free, and it’s so nice to catch up on the important and routine things, and then have a pleasurable rest moment in between all the work of all the other days. Especially now that I’ve crammed Thursdays full, too. The cramming is good, and necessary. But so is the down time.

All refreshed back at the apartment I realized I’d forgotten to eat lunch. 4:00 p.m. and I’d need to leave to feed horses in 45 minutes! Fortunately, the soup I’d made a few days before sat in the fridge. I heated it up, made some toast, threw on some toppings, and sat down at the table.

I read my book, and ate my lunch, and went off to work. Even more satisfied.

RECIPE: Garden Vegetable Soup


4 cups beef broth + 4 cups water
Chopped veggies of whatever is in season: I used some eggplant, medium-hot and/or sweet peppers, Swiss chard, summer squash, arugula, and carrots. (about 3-4 cups)
Rice (about 1 cup uncooked)
Salt to taste


My method is, honestly, to throw everything together and let it simmer until all the vegetables are tender. You can just cook the rice in with the broth and vegetables, but be aware if you use brown rice this will require a longer simmer time (about 45 minutes) and you may want to add extra water. I decided to add the brown rice AFTER I’d simmered the vegetables and broth, so I cooked the rice on its own and then mixed it in with everything else. If you use winter squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and/or beets you’ll want to chop them smaller and/or put them in the broth first, then add the rest of the vegetables about 15-20 minutes later.

RECIPE: Toast with Farmer’s Cheese, Arugula, Swiss chard, and Bell Pepper

And that’s what it is. Toast the bread, spread on the cheese, pile on the arugula and Swiss chard, then slice the pepper and layer it on the top. I used a chocolate bell pepper, which is nice and sweet.

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