My favourite soup, the one that got me through my pregnancy when I didn’t want to eat anything else, is Minestrone. But not any Minestrone soup will do. I love the Clean-Eating Minestrone Soup from The Eat-Clean Diet (2007) book.
Last August I made about 16 litres of the soup. Much of the soup was made up of vegetables from our garden. Last week, so over a year later, I finished eating the very last jar of soup. My heart sank. What soup was I going to eat now?
Lately my baking and cooking and photography and blogging efforts have been put on hold as I care for my lovely daughter. However, she is now 5 months old and taking longer naps. This allows me to get back to big batch cooking, baking, some photography (mostly of her), and blogging! Yay!
Making this soup and canning it from start to finish takes about 6 hours. Six hours when it was just me and endless summer hours on hand. I was a bit disheartened as there was no way that my daughter would (and I wouldn’t want her to) sleep while I made the soup. It was time to plan like never before for cooking!
Step 1 (Day 1): Hire Oma to babysit while I grocery shop for all of the ingredients. At this point the baby doesn’t fit in the cart with all of the groceries I needed. Unfortunately I was not able to use many vegetables from our garden this year, because let’s face it, being a new mom and gardening was too much for me! I admire you supermoms who can do it! Maybe next year.
Step 1B (Day 1-2): Prepare dried beans for overnight soak.
Step 2 (Day 2): Start cleaning and chopping chunks of produce while the baby naps.
Step 3: Baby’s up, take a break from chopping.
Step 4: Baby’s down, continue chopping.
Step 5: Baby’s up, feed and take into the kitchen to finish a batch of chopping.
Step 6: Baby’s down, keep chopping.
Step 7: Wonder if all this work is worth it.
Step 8: Finish chopping and prepping vegetables just as baby wakes up from final nap of the day!
Step 9 (Day 2-3): Once our daughter goes down for bed in the night she is very unlikely to wake up until early morning. I know, we’re very lucky! So once she went down in the evening that’s when I started cooking and then canning soup. The cooking and canning part took about 4 hours. The chopping of all the vegetables during her naps throughout the day was about 3 hours. I made a double batch so there was more chopping to do than usual. The first night I made one batch of soup (that’s all I can fit in the pot). I made a second batch of soup the next night, taking another 4 hours. My sister says I’m dedicated! I just really love this healthy soup I guess. In total I spent about 11 hours making 18 and 1/2 litres of soup! This is much longer than before, but it’s totally worth it! I got to spend time with my daughter and work around her sleep schedule to cook healthy meals for our family.
Throughout this process there was absolutely no time for food photography! The photographs from this post were taken last August when I made the soup. However, the objective of having clean-eating soup for winter was accomplished!
Here is the recipe: Healthy Minestrone Soup