My husband and I never think soup is going to satisfy us for dinner because we're always hungry on weeknights and craving hearty, savory meals for sustenance and comfort. However we both agreed this recipe from Dreena Burton looked good, simple, and I think my guy liked it because it had pasta in it.
Turns out, we were right. Totally easy recipe that ends up almost stew-like it's so thick. I wasn't sure about the garbanzo beans, but they simmered into soft, rich little things strewn throughout the tomato-veggie broth, and I loved the thick rounds of carrots. We added whole wheat bread from the bakery as a side but hardly needed it because the soup was so satisfying.
There's another thing I like about soup -- after a full day, especially Monday when we wake up to face the entire week looming ahead of us, it's nice to come home and chop vegetables: the colors, the sounds, the heft and density of the vegetables, the somewhat rhythmic action of the knife, the smell of onion and garlic (even before it's cooking), and the feeling of completion -- a bunch of veg piled by color and type slipped into the pot one at a time, counter wiped clean, done.
I usually listen to NPR while I chop. The authors of Laurels' Kitchen say to turn off the news so meal-making is a true mindful meditation. I do that too sometimes, but the news is part of it; even though it's often distressing information, it's good for me to remember that after focusing on my job and my life all day, there are all kinds of people around the world facing their days, some more challenging or refined than others.
It's a strange comfort to remember that what has felt so huge and important to me during the day is really pretty small, just one person amongst billions going about her day and coming home to make dinner.
I guess it brings me back to the basics, which, when I think about it, matter more than what consumes my emotions all day long: healthy nourishing food, noticing the view out the kitchen window, the smell of soup steaming up the house, the click of the furnace wondering if it's cold enough to turn on yet, the closing of car doors as the last few neighbors get home, and eventually me and my husband at the kitchen table enjoying our soup, talking about our days, and mending all the frayed pieces to start whole and fresh tomorrow.