Meditative Minestrone Recipe for Mindfulness

Today's Therapy Thursday is a bit different and we look into making mundane tasks into mindful ones. Today's recipe is a Meditative Minestrone by The Grate Full who teaches us that to be present and mindful cooking in the kitchen after a busy day when we just want to sit on the couch will lead us to prepare a tastier meal because the cooking process is joyful. A very simple and quick recipe that should be prepared with patience, joy and without judgement.

Ingredients 150g Onion (or Leek) 150g Kale, Chard or Spinach 250g Mushrooms, sliced 400g Sweet Potato, cut into cubes (approx. 2 small ones, otherwise can use pumpkin) 300g Red Cabbage, sliced (any other type will also work, this just has a nice colour and flavor) 1 Can Borlotti Beans (or any red/black bean) 1 cup Pasta (fussili, penne, rigati, macaroni or shells work best. I use spelt or gluten free but any will work) 1 Tbsp Olive Oil 1 Tbsp Ghee (if you are vegan, replace with olive oil) 1 Tbsp Dried Italian Herb Mix 1 tsp Finely Ground Black Pepper 4 sprigs Fresh Rosemary 10 sprigs Fresh Thyme 2 L Vegetable Stock (buy, make yourself or use stock powder – find one that is good as it will have a big impact on the taste of the soup!) Juice ½ a Lemon Fresh Parmesan (optional, for serving) Salt and Pepper to taste

Method Prepare all the vegetables – slice mushrooms, dice sweet potatoes, slice cabbage, shred kale, dice onions. If using a Dutch oven, slowly warm on the hotplate according to instructions. Place olive oil, ghee and chopped onion in the pot. Turn heat to medium. Sauté onions until soft. Add dried Italian herb mix and stir. Add sweet potato and mushroom. Mix well, place lid on and cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Meanwhile, make a posy from the fresh herbs by tying rosemary and thyme sprigs together in a bunch with string. This keeps the herb stalks together and saves you/your guests picking them out of their soup (full disclaimer, this was a genius idea from my husband, who was indeed sick of picking them out of his soup!) Add in 2L of stock, cabbage, fresh herb posy, black pepper. Put lid on, increase heat and simmer for 15 mins. Add pasta. Place lid on and continue to simmer for the cooking time indicated on the pasta packet (the one I use needs only 5 mins, if it needs longer you may want to add it a little earlier) Open can of beans, drain and rinse. Remove lid of soup pot when the pasta is cooked. Add in the beans and mix through. Add kale/chard/spinach on the top, place the lid on and leave for around 2 mins while the greens wilt (this will take longer for kale, less for spinach). Remove from heat. Squeeze in juice of half a lemon and mix through. Serve with some grated parmesan on top and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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