Today ended up being a very busy, productive day. We made plans, last minute, to go over to Kevin's sister Julie's house for lunch and to visit Kevin's grandparents and aunt and uncle who decided to make the trip east. It was fun to see everyone and Carson had lots of fun playing with his cousins, Anna and Joel. This morning, I got up and went right outside to rip out some of the poison ivy I've found around the yard. I removed it from three of the spots - still have two spots to go, but they're much less trafficked areas, so they can wait a week or two. After that, I worked inside for a bit, doing some laundry and some cleaning. Then I headed back outside to get some time in the garden before we left for Julie's house. After we returned from Julie's, I headed right back out to the garden and got tons of veggies planted! I still have a few to go, but Kevin has to till me some more space first, so I'll finish up later this week. I also got all of my flower pots in front planted with my annuals, and got a third of the way down the front walk (I'm lining it with annuals like I did last year).
Some where in there, I also found time to try out a new recipe. I've been wanting to make a good tomato soup and when I found this recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis, I knew I had to try it. I was excited to see the cannellini beans in there. I figured they'd not only add some protein, but would act as a great thickening agent. They did, indeed. This was super easy to make, fairly quick, too. Definitely a keeper recipe! I added tortellini to this after getting the idea from my lunch in Grand Blanc a week or two ago... but I also figured it was the only way I'd get Kevin to eat tomato soup. He ate it with no complaints, though. We all really loved it. This made enough for dinner for the three of us tonight, plus lunches for all three of us tomorrow.
Hearty Tomato Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped (organic)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped (organic)
2 cloves garlic, chopped (organic)
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed (organic)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (organic, fire-roasted)
3 cups chicken broth (water, plus organic BTB)
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, plus 1 teaspoon, minced (dried, organic)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup creme fraiche (left this out, its a topping for the soup)
Zest of one lemon (left this out, its for topping)
In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon rosemary, and red pepper flakes. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
Puree the soup in a blender in batches, being careful to remove and discard the bay leaf. (I just used my immersion blender) Return the soup to a soup pot and keep warm over low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl fold in the lemon zest and the remaining teaspoon of rosemary to 2/3 cup creme fraiche. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and dollop each bowl with the lemon rosemary creme fraiche. Serve immediately.