We spent last week at the beach with my parents and god-parents. It was a lot of fun, if not relaxing, and we ate well. The kitchen at the rental house wasn't exactly nice, but it was sufficient and my mom cooked a lot of good meals. We also had a couple of good meals out, and enjoyed our annual trip to Dairy Queen (and Charlotte's first ice cream!). One of my favorite parts of going on vacation, though, is always coming back home and cooking in my own kitchen. I never quite realize how much I miss it until I'm back doing it again. Because our meals tend to be on the heavier side when we're away, I usually plan some lighter, vegetable-heavy meals for our return. This soup recipe and a panzanella (which I'll write about for CCC), seemed like the perfect summer meal for our return.
When I actually got out the book and read through this soup recipe I was underwhelmed, to say the least. I like minestrone in the winter, but this sounded like an unexciting version of a summer minestrone. It also sounded totally confused. There were way too many ingredients. But, like the good rules follower that I am, I made the recipe (almost) exactly as written. The only changes I made were omitting the carrots (I forgot mine at the beach) and increasing the corn and green beans to compensate, using whole wheat pasta (it was all I had), and not bothering to peel and seed the tomatoes (I just don't see the point). This came together easily, and as soon as we put Charlotte to bed Paul and I went out on the patio to eat our dinner. He tasted the soup before I did and was like "wow, this is really good soup." I took a bite. It was really good. Dorie was right again. The vegetables are simple, but the homemade pesto (and chicken broth) really make the soup. I loved the bright, clean flavors. It really was the perfect welcome home meal. The best news? We gave it to Charlotte for lunch and she actually enjoyed it too! This may even make a repeat appearance before summer is over.