It’s winter y’all. And while it’s still pretty darn warm here in Florida at the moment, I’ve become so acclimated to the intense and fire-breathing dragon which is our summer heat, that right now it might as well be winter in Chicago. Any drop on the thermometer, even a pinch, and I’m absolutely freezing!
No joke. Like, for real.
And, I never enjoyed wearing sweaters. One year, many Christmases ago now, and after I was married, I received all sweaters for Christmas. All sweaters, and nothing more. Everybody who gave me a gift that holiday gave me a sweater. By the end of the evening on Christmas Day, I was literally drowning in sweaters sitting upon my lap.
I didn’t even ask for sweaters.
But sweaters I did get.
And to make matters even worse, my husband received all sweaters as well.
My mother-in-law correctly deemed it... ‘The Year Of The Sweater’ … and she really was absolutely right.
It remains to this day, one of the funniest things she ever told me, and it was all just so very true.
I’m not sure if anyone else on Earth has ever received as many sweaters for gifts as my husband and I both did that holiday a long time ago.
And for years afterward, I could not even look at a sweater without thinking of The Year Of The Sweater. I basically hated and despised sweaters since that infamous day of unwrapping all that extremely itchy wool I was then surrounded by and being suffocated from.
I mean, it could be well below zero outside, and I could be driving in a car with the windows rolled down, and I still would not succumb to the temptation of a nice and beautiful looking sweater that happened to be sitting next to me on the car seat. If it was a sweater, I was NOT wearing it.
Fast forward to today.
Living in Florida.
It’s beautiful. All year round. No joke. It’s perfection. I feel like I’m living in a paradise, or Heaven, or some combination thereof. I'm so used to the perfect weather that when the temperature takes a dip, I wear more layers than I’ve worn in my entire life, combined.
I could very easily be teleported to the Arctic tundra, and Santa Claus would hire me on the spot to work for him in his outdoor garden, simply because he wouldn’t need to buy me the standard uniform that would need to be worn in the elements. I’d already be wearing it. I’m ready for the cold.
So, yes, finally, at long last, the sweater has come back into my life. And it sits there and laughs at me with every breath I take.
It could be 69 degrees out here in Jax Beach, and I’m frozen solid.
And this winter is the worst yet - in terms of clothing. I’m in my third year living in The Sunshine State, and I was so desperate when the temperature took a slight dip that I had to go out and buy a big winter down puffy coat to get through the coldest days and nights.
And now, I’ve resorted to complete and total desperation while at home.
I currently take perfectly clean and dry sweaters, put them into the dryer, simply to get them feeling nice and toasty - steamy ... hot.
I RUN to the dryer the instant it buzzes me, and I wisk open the door of the magical appliance. I grab for the hot sweater, and hurl it around me. And then, what the heck, I might even throw on another layer. Then, finally, I can get back to work in my art studio, and I can actually concentrate. I’m from Illinois - and I’m now in Florida sitting under layers of blankets and sweaters with palm trees and perfect blue skies outside my window - I’m absolutely pathetic.
So naturally, while wearing sweaters, long pants and slippers, what does one eat when it’s a cold and frigid 70 degrees outside?
Soup. Of course. Minestrone Soup.
Today, I’m very happy to share with you my minestrone recipe that I have been making for years and years. It’s probably one of my favorite recipes that my husband and I both make together. It’s reliable, it’s consistent and tastes the same every time, it’s easy, and it’s very healthy.
I would say this recipe is a combination of my mother’s minestrone recipe, the internet’s soup, and our soup - rolling all those ideas into one perfect pot. We’ve tweaked it many times, and the recipe below is the one that is deemed perfection by my taste buds. So, we finally never waiver from this, our very perfect Minestrone Soup.
Also, I’ve done the calculations on MyFitnessPal, and at only 239 calories making 8 servings, it's not even heavy on the calories. And did I mention that it’s very healthy?
When we lived in Illinois, we tended to make this soup more so only in the winter months, as we tended to grill out every chance we’d get throughout the entire summer period.
But it IS winter in Florida, y’all.
So, as I freeze under fleece blankets and heavy sweaters, we desperately needed a hot soup to eat. We proceeded with the task, and dug out our biggest pot on New Year’s Day. Sometimes we make a big pot of chili on New Year’s, but this year, I needed soup. It called to me as much as I needed the warmth of a sweater straight from the dryer.
And I tend to think the best thing about this recipe is the week full of leftovers it will leave you with. (In our two person and one furry creature household, we have the first main dinner, and then about three nights of leftovers, both eating one bowl per night).
And I always recommend making a pot of soup on a Sunday. It’s the best day of the week for soup. On Sunday’s while you tend to your chores around the house, you can enjoy the scent of the long, slow simmer on the stovetop. But better than that, you have leftovers for the work-week ahead of you. So Sunday it is for us. Or New Year’s Day.
So this year, cold as we were, we enjoyed a nice, leisurely New Year’s holiday at home. Our little sous-chef helped us out in the kitchen…. It’s really important and vital to the entire kitchen operation that you hire such a chef. Your soup might not turn out correctly without one on staff.
And as our soup simmered long, and slow, and low atop the stove, we went through the annual routine of packing up and storing away all our holiday decor for the season.
I’m a huge fan of leaving everything up through the new year holiday if we can help it. So barring any trips or scheduling issues that would prevent us, we always take down the tree and pack everything up for the season on New Year’s Day.
We used to be completely dependent on the weather in Chicago as to when all our outdoor decor came down. If given a window of ‘nice’ weather, we had to go outside and take everything in before the world froze up again. Otherwise, we could be so unlucky as to potentially have everything sit out there until March or some other crazy date. So now I absolutely love that living here in the South the weather is not a factor to anything in terms of my household schedule.
I also took every item out of my plastic storage bins, and gave each bin a deep clean. By the time I was done with the entire process, my storage bins were clean enough to slap a pizza on top and eat right off of the plastic if one wanted. Clean AND organized, on New Year’s Day. Such a bonus.
We also purged a few older items, donating them to charity. Out with the old, in with the new. I try not to let clutter pile up until it’s unmanageable.
Overall, we had a very relaxing and productive New Year’s holiday. The soup made the day though. And as we sat down to dinner that holiday evening, watching Blue Bloods Season Eight on DVD, I was sitting under layers of blankets to keep warm during our Florida winter. And as I watched NYPD PC Frank Reagan sit at the head of his dining room table during one of the infamous Reagan family Sunday dinner scenes, surrounded by all of his kids and grandkids, including my favorite television character of all time, Danny Reagan, I couldn’t help but notice that Frank tends to almost always wear the same straw colored, button-down, cable-knit sweater to family dinner each Sunday. ~
Bean’s Minestrone Soup Recipe
For more of Bean’s recipes - click below:
~ Bean’s Soulful Southern Chili ~
All 2020 9/11 A1A Acrylic On Canvas Adversity Alan Roberts Al Carius Amanda Moon Art Amelia Island America Angeletti Cookies Angies Grom Angies Subs Another Broken Egg Cafe Appetizer Art Atlantic Beach Atlantic Ocean Autumnal Equinox Autumn In Florida BabylissPro Hair Straightener Bacon Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts Beach Boulevard Beach Diner Beach Diner Ponte Vedra Beach Beaches Art Fest Beaches At Vilano Beaches For Australia Beaches Go Green Beaches Green Market Beaches Museum Beaches Oktoberfest Beaches Town Center Beans Baking Series Beans Basement Bash Beans Best Award Winner Beans Coffee Shop Challenge Beans Recipes Beef Stew Before And After Beignets BEPREADY Black Friday Blue Angels Blue Bloods Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine Breakfast Review Breezy Coffee Shop Brewery Review Bryan Pieper Cafe Du Monde Cantina Louie Cat Cafe Celebration Celebration Florida Cell Phone Chaunies Coffee Truck Chicago Food Chicago Pizza Chili Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies Christmas Decor Christmas In The South Christmas Pop Up Bar Christmas Tree Cinottis Bakery Jax Beach City Of Jacksonville Florida Special Events Civil War 2.0 Clover Coffee Coffee Plantation Cafe College Columbia Restaurant Comfort Compass Contagion Cookies Corinne Crabtree Corona Coronavirus CoVid19 Crane Island Crock Pot Cross Country Cummer Cafe Review Cummer Museum Cummer Museum Of Art & Gardens Daily Activity Danny Reagan Daschund Daylight Savings Time Deck The Chairs Delicomb Dessert Dining In Atlantic Beach Dining In Jax Beach Dining In Ponte Vedra Beach Dining On The Water Dining Review Dining Review Vilano Beach Disney Springs Dog Days Of Summer Doggie Stroller Dog Life Donuts Driftwood Jax Beach Dunkin Donuts Easter Edens Leaf Naturals Eleven South Review Endless Summer Every Damn Day Fitness Facebook Faith Fall In Florida Family Traditions Film Review First Watch Floating Generation Florida Florida Cold Front Florida Cracker Kitchen Florida Winter Flowers Frank Reagan Grape & Grain Exchange Guy Fieri Hampton Inn Happy Holidays Happy New Year Hawkers Asian Street Fare Hemingway Holiday Holidays In Jax Beach Holidays In Neptune Beach Holly Berry Hotel Review Ice Cream Intracoastal Intuition Ale Works Review Ireland Isle Of Eight Flags Jacksonville Jacksonville Beach James Bond Jamie Reagan Jarboe Park Jarboe Park Christmas Tree Jax Beach Art Walk Jax Beach Coffee Shop Jax Beach Vintage Flea Market Jerusalem Jesus Jimmy Johns John Glaude Joy Key Largo Key West Key West Half Marathon Kilwins Krispy Kreme Life Before Facebook Lifestyle Lime Bubly Love Lumi Bean Candles Manatee Massive Action Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Florida Mayo Clinic Pain Rehab Clinic Mayport Cats Metro Diner Mexican Food MFPMilestones Millennial Generation Minestrone Soup Mourning A Loss Muffins MyFitnessPal Nemo Park Neptune Beach Never Forget New Orleans New York City Nine Eleven NOLA Obese To Beast Oceanfront Dining Olivia Shore One Ocean Resort Orlando Overseas Highway Pain Rehab Clinic Palm Sunday Palm Valley Palm Valley Outdoors Bar And Grill Pasta Pasta Party Pastries Patience Peanut Butter Bubbles Perseverance Peterbrooke Chocolatier Petes Bar Petes Bar Thanksgiving Morning Gathering Pet Friendly Pet Loss Phit-n-Phat Phone Call Pink Lemonade Plan Pollyanna Ponte Vedra Beach PRC Pumpkin Spice Purpose Race Expo Recipes Red Sauce Restaurant Review Ritas Jax Beach Riverside Rockaway Garden Routine Sago Coffee Jax San Marco San Marco Bookstore San Marco Town Square San Pablo Island Sea La Vie Jax Beach Seaside Sculpture Park Sea & Sky Jax Seinfeld September 11 Shamrock Shell World Sheltie Social Media Sous Chef Southern Grounds Southern Living Idea House Southern Swells Starbucks Star Wars Statue Of Liberty St Augustine St. Augustine St. Augustine Nights Of Lights Staycation St. Johns Town Center St Patricks Day Sugar Cookies Super Bowl Sunday Supper Club Take Out Dining Teresa Echols Thai Food Thankful The Boathouse The Caffeinated Cat The Dis The Mini Bar The Reach Resort Key West The Reef Time Savings Tinis Martini Bar To Do Downtown Jacksonville To Do In Celebration Florida To Do Jax Beach Tonys Turkey Trot Review Train Ride Twistee Treat Twitter Uber Ugly Cupcake & Muffinry Ulta Products Universal Endless Summer University Of North Florida Valentines Day Vilano Beach Vlogmas Volunteer V Pizza V Pizza Jax Beach Walt Disney World Weight Loss Weight Loss Success Weight Maintenance White Christmas Whit's Frozen Custard Whits Jax Beach Wicked Lick Williams Sonoma Winter Meals World War 19 World War II Year In Review YouTube