At times I feel our life is hectic, stressful, our weeks are crazy, our time is stretched. But last week our good friends had a week I couldn't even imagine! It started with their oldest daughter who is 6 getting pneumonia and being admitted to the hospital, and ended back in the hospital with the birth of their third daughter, who came a month early! We really wanted to do something to help, so I did what I do best- cook!
Last night we brought them 2 soups, green minestrone filled with healthy veggies like swiss chard and cabbage, and a red lentil soup, along with some bread, fresh fruit and cookies. We spent a nice evening with them and their 3 beautiful daughters, eating and talking and relaxing. We were glad to be there and to help out, because that's what friends are for!
3 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
3 cups water
1/2 cup tubetti or small pasta
1/2 pound swiss chard, leaves washed well and shredded (about 3 cups)
1 pound spinach, leaves washed well and shredded (we used a small head of green cabbage instead)
1) In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add onions and celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften, about 7-8 minutes.
2) Add the broth, water, and a few more pinches of salt and a few cracks of pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in the pasta and simmer for 5 minutes longer.
3) Add the swiss chard and spinach (or cabbage) and bring the soup back to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chard is wilted and the pasta is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve topped with grated parmesan, and fresh, crusty bread.