Recipe: Quick and Easy Tomato & Bean Soup

After a night of drinking and a morning of having a migraine aura, I felt like something filling, hearty, warm and comforting for dinner tonight. It also had to be easy and quick because I didn’t want to be in the kitchen so much so I quickly threw together this soup which was surprisingly delicious. The two kind of beans and pasta make is substantial and adding some fresh veggies makes it even more nutritious.

 Ingredients

Onion
Bell pepper
Olive oil
Vegetable stock
Pasta (preferable something smaller that works well in a soup, I used thin gobetti)
Mushrooms (I used canned but fresh would be better)
Can of diced tomatoes
Passata
Can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
Can of butter beans (or another white bean) (drained and rinsed)
Salt, pepper and paprika to taste

Start by sauteing the chopped onion and bell pepper in some olive oil. Add the vegetable stock (the amount depends on how much pasta you’re using) and add the pasta. Continue by adding the mushrooms, tomatoes and purée, let it all simmer for a while until the pasta gets softer and then add the beans. Let everything simmer for a while until the vegetables and pasta are completely done and add the salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Serve and enjoy!

I added some sriracha for an extra kick and you can also add some garlic with the onion and bell pepper if you like. It’s a really simple but tasty soup which can be whipped up in the blink of an eye basically. I improvised with what I had and wanted to keep it light on the spices but you can add more vegetables if you like or some more spices like oregano or basil.

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Weekly Wishes

The Nectar Collective
 Weekly Wishes is a linkup to talk about your goals and wishes for the upcoming week, you can check it out over at The Nectar Collective.

This weeks theme is hobbies. I don’t really feel like I have any exciting hobbies so have a picture of my dog which sort of counts like a hobby I guess except this hobby is part of the family.

What I got done

PhD

  • 3 to 6 pomodori a day depending on if it’s a work day or I otherwise don’t get around to doing 6.

Day doing 6 pomodori were rare, I only managed that yesterday due to immense procrastination on other days. I also didn’t work on some days but on others I did 3 pomodori of work and as I did finish the stuff I wanted to finish I’m okay with that. Looking back at periods in which I didn’t do any work, I’m doing well.

  • Finish the reread of The Last of the Crazy People.

Done!

  • Start taking notes of the novel.

Done! I got to page 100 or something like that.

  • Finish the tying up of the loose ends.

Done!

  • Depending on how I get ahead with this, start writing the next part.

Not done because I need to finish taking notes so I can build my analysis around the quotes from the novel. Stuff has been forming in my head while rereading and typing the notes though so that’s something.

  • Consider if I wait for my friend or if I just send my stuff to my supervisor.

The jury is still out on this one. I could just send it to him but I prefer another set of eyes on it. I should decide on this soon though.

Reading

  • Read so I get ahead on the Autumn Challenge.

I did read some but not as much as I wanted to but that might have to do with my recent Parks and Recreation office more than anything else. Almost finished with the novel I’m reading though which I can put in one of the categories and then I’ll get on with the next one.

Goals for this week

PhD

  • Finish taking notes of The Last of the Crazy People.
  • Try and find secondary sources for The Last of the Crazy People.
  • Start writing my analysis of The Last of the Crazy People, and preferable finish it.
  • Go through the secondary sources for The Edible Woman once more.
  • Finally email supervisor.

Reading

  • Continue reading to get on with the challenges as the year is slowly ending.
  • Read A Streetcar Named Desire so I can better help my student with it.

Cooking

  • Finally cook that beetroot soup I’ve been meaning to cook.
  • Try another new recipe so I can actually finish my 52 new vegan recipes this year.

Blogging

  • Blog more than just these weekly goals. 

    Weekly Wishes

    The Nectar Collective 

     Weekly Wishes is a linkup to talk about your goals and wishes for the upcoming week, you can check it out over at The Nectar Collective.

    This weeks theme is warmth.

    I didn’t get around to posting last week, mostly because I just didn’t but also because I didn’t really accomplish my goals last week, mostly the PhD stuff, and I guess I didn’t want to face that.

    What I Got Done

     
    PhD
    • Edit the next chapter and finish it so I can send it to my friend.
    Done! It’s Academic Writing Month and I decided to participate again (after I failed last year) and I got everything that needed to be written and edited done in two days after slagging a lot before.
    • Email my professor, again I might wait until I can include the next chapter.
    Not yet, waiting until my friend has read my writings.
    • Start reading some of the loose ends I got lying around.
    Done! I haven’t read all of the loose ends but I’ve started.
    Reading
    • Read Allegiant, or better manage to get my hands on a physical copy. This is more of a wish than a goal since I can’t really do much about it.

    Done and done!

    Blog
    • Keep blogging regularly.

    Not done. Sadly, I get lazy about this.

    • Keep the other blog updated.

    See above.

    • Work on stuff (cryptic).

    Done!

     
    Cooking
    • Find another new recipe to try out.

    I have cooked like I always do but I don’t think I tried something completely new. Putting new stuff on a pizza is not really new. I did make kale and potato mash on Sunday, which I had never done before but it’s not a new dish because my mom has cooked this since forever. First time for me though so let’s go with half done here.

    Photography 
    • Catch up on Photo A Day

    Done but I’m yet again behind a couple of days, but going to catch up tonight or tomorrow.

     
    General
    • Send email about my fanclub card and the meeting

    Done!

    Goals for this week

    PhD
    • 3 to 6 pomodori a day depending on if it’s a work day or I otherwise don’t get around to doing 6.
    • Finish the reread of The Last of the Crazy People.
    • Start taking notes of the novel.
    • Finish the tying up of the loose ends.
    • Depending on how I get ahead with this, start writing the next part.
    • Consider if I wait for my friend or if I just send my stuff to my supervisor.
    I think that for this month I’m just going to concentrate on my PhD goals considering that it’s Academic Writing Month, it seems like more than enough to get done until Monday and I really need to get cracking because I was so tired yesterday, I didn’t do anything and on Sunday I busied myself with stupid stuff and skipped that day… Although let me put one more.

    Reading

    • Read so I get ahead on the Autumn Challenge.

    Recipe: Pizza with Brussels Sprouts, Red Onion and Chickpeas

    Since I went vegan, one of me weaknesses was pizza, and cheese, and obviously those two things were related. I’ve had some cheese relapses but I got over that now after finding awesome vegan cheese for my sandwiches and the last time I had a slice of pizza with cheese, it felt so fatty that melted cheese (something I used to love) is something I don’t want to eat anymore, I don’t really like the taste anymore. I also realize that dairy always made me feel so full and blah (not saying I’m lactose intolerant but there’s definitely a change in how I feel now after ditching dairy). It’s funny how your taste buds can change like that. As a kid I hated Brussels sprouts for example, now I love them and I can’t get enough of them. Serve me a bowl of them, simply cooked in water, and I’ll happily devour it.

    Anyway, I’m drifting off! I have been obsessed by making a pizza with Brussels sprouts, tried it once before but I also added cauliflower because I had that and it had to be used but while that pizza was delicious as well (how could it not be with two of my favorite vegetables?) I had put too many of the vegetables on it so the pizza got soggy. I think I even spread pureed cauliflower on it instead of cheese, which made it hard for the dough to cook through. But maybe that was another pizza experiment. Today, I decided to give it another try and be more careful with the toppings and it turned out delicious. Definitely making this again and again and I’m already looking forward to eating what is left tomorrow. Only thing I forgot was to put garlic on it, which would have made it even better because garlic makes everything better. Next time!

    It didn’t photograph very well and looks crowded but it was just perfect on the plate.

    Ingredients

    Pizza dough (I used the ready made kind that you just roll out but you can obviously make your own as well but I’m always too lazy to do that)
    Tomato sauce (I had sauce that came with the dough but again, you can make your own)
    MushroomsRed onion
    Brussels sprouts (cut in halves or more slices depending on their size)
    Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
    Vegan cream cheese (Optional but I still had some left of this recipe and it worked really well)
    Vegan grated pizza cheese (I get mine from Veganic, a German vegan store but I just found out they have a British branch as well)
    Olive oil
    Balsamic vinegar

    Prepare the dough and spread the sauce on it, then spread the cream cheese on top of that and start putting on your toppings. I started with the onion and mushrooms and the proceeded with the Brussels sprouts because I wanted them roast well. Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over it and then add the chickpeas and finish with some grated cheese. Bake until it’s done and enjoy!

    I absolutely loved this because the dough was crispy and the balsamic vinegar adds and red onion a certain sweetness to the Brussels sprouts (awesome combination, I use it often). The olive oil (and the vinegar as well obviously) keeps things just moist enough and adds a bit of fat. I’m not completely sure what the cream cheese did but I’m definitely doing that again, it seemed to give the pizza something extra I really liked.

    Weekly Wishes

    Weekly Wishes is a linkup to talk about your goals and wishes for the upcoming week, you can check it out over at The Nectar Collective.

    This weeks theme is creativity.

    What I got done

    PhD
    • Finish editing this chapter finally.

    Done!

    • Take the books back to library and check those two things for my bibliography.

    Done! Granted I only did it today but that was because my books were due today and I didn’t really feel like going last week and ended up having nothing else to do in town.

    • Read through the next chapter, edit and send it to my friend for a first read.

    I got started on this today because I was lazy last week.

    • Contact my supervisor for an appointment, send him my edited chapter and maybe include the next one as well. I’m putting this one down tentatively because I might wait till next week so I can send everything at once.

    Not done yet because I was able to get the book to check those two entries for my bibliography today and I finished the editing last night.

    Reading

    • Reread Insurgent before Allegiant comes out next week.

    Done! I literally just finished it and now desperately want to get my hands on Allegiant… I read this series as actual books instead of ebooks (just did the rereads on my Kindle) so I want to continue that tradition and get a physical copy of Allegiant but Amazon doesn’t ship until next week. I did check the bookstore tonight after my visit to the library because I was able to buy Insurgent there a couple of days before it actually came out but no luck. I’m in town again on Thursday so hopefully I can get it then and cancel my order on Amazon (unless they can ship it earlier after all). I might have to break tradition and start reading this as an ebook.

    • Depending on how my rereading goes, get started with one of my books for the Autumn Challenge.

    Done! I forgot that rereading Insurgent was part of the challenge.

    Blog

    • Keep to my sort of schedule of posts I want to write.

    Done! I managed to get out several posts but I didn’t stick to the schedule I thought was good and maybe I won’t do that anymore anyway and just feel what and if I feel like posting with a couple of days on set day.

    Cooking

    • Finally bake that pumpkin pie I want to bake for weeks now.

    Done! Only today but I decided to not do it earlier because I was supposed to go and meet an old student for coffee and I wanted to bring some cake. Unfortunately she cancelled tonight though because her little boy was running a fever. Oh well, I’m sure the pie will be eating otherwise. I did cook my pumpkin to make the puree yesterday though, that counts for something. This is the recipes I used from The Post Punk Kitchen

    Personal

    • Decide if I am courageous enough to go to the monthly vegan meet up in town next Monday.

    This was more of a thing to decide to go but I ended up not going. I didn’t really feel like going alone, although that’s maybe also the point of it, to meet some new people. Besides I was pretty tired today so I wouldn’t really have felt like going anyway. Why I’m still up now is beyond my own comprehension.

    Goals for this week

    PhD

    • Edit the next chapter and finish it so I can send it to my friend.
    • Email my professor, again I might wait until I can include the next chapter.
    • Start reading some of the loose ends I got lying around.

    Reading

    • Read Allegiant, or better manage to get my hands on a physical copy. This is more of a wish than a goal since I can’t really do much about it.

    Blog

    • Keep blogging regularly.
    • Keep the other blog updated.
    • Work on stuff (cryptic).

    Cooking

    • Find another new recipe to try out.

    Photography 

    • Catch up on Photo A Day

    General

    • Send email about my fanclub card and the meeting

      Recipe: Kale and Bean Soup

      I modified this recipe from Vegan Yum Yum and it turned out really great. I didn’t have carrots so I substituted cauliflower because I did have that and I didn’t feel like making seitan so I added mushrooms instead because I happened to have those as well. I also added some more tomato because I wanted it to be more tomato-y.

      Ingredients

      Onion
      Kale
      Cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
      Potatoes
      Cauliflower
      Mushrooms
      Water
      Canned tomatoes
      Passata
      Tomato paste (optional but I used it to thicken it a bit)
      Olive oil
      Thyme
      Oregano
      Majoram
      Cayenne pepper
      Salt and pepper to taste

      You can use as many of these ingredients as you want, depending on how much soup you want to make. I always find these dishes very convenient to make a lot of to freeze or eat the next day. Just make sure the amounts of all the ingredients is balanced out and add the herbs and spices while tasting. If you want to have it more stew like than a soup, make sure that you don’t add too much water when you’re cooking. I wanted a more soup like consistency so I used quite a lot of water, which did turn out too much in the end because I had to thicken my soup.

      Peel and chop the potatoes and clean and chop your cauliflower. Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil and once it’s tender, add the potatoes and cauliflower. Add water and let it cook for a while until the potatoes cauliflower are getting tender and then add the kale (I used a bag of pre-chopped kale but you can obviously chop it yourself as well or even use frozen kale). Stir everything and start adding the canned tomatoes and passata. Because my soup remained a bit thin, I added some tomato paste as well to thicken it a bit (didn’t do the trick as much as I wanted so I ended up adding some bread crumbs in the end to make it thicker). Lastly add the herbs and spices and stir everything. Let it all simmer until everything is tender and then enjoy!

      Book Review: The Ruining

      Title: The Ruining                                                                              

      Author: Anna Collomore
      Genre: YA Thriller/Mystery
      Rating: 4/5

      The Cover

      I really like this cover, it definitely drew me to the book when I first saw it. I like colors and the simple fonts. The girl disappearing into the water is just intriguing enough to want to read this book.

      The Story

      Annie Phillips is about to start a new life on Belvedere Island, leaving her past behind her. She found a job as a nanny with the perfect Cohen family. Soon after she starts working for them, she already falls in love with the family and Annie is especially smitten by the mother, Libbie, who she admires. Everything seems to be going well and she even falls in love with the boy next door. Soon though, her perfect life starts to fall apart. Annie is blamed for things she didn’t even do, the job gets more demanding, her bedroom doesn’t close anymore and her relationship with Libby changes to the worst. On top of everything she starts to get weird hallucinations and soon Annie is falling apart, not knowing if she’s really going crazy or is something else completely is going on.

      My Thoughts

      I usually don’t read a lot of thrillers or mystery novels but I came across this one and was drawn in by the cover and the story seemed interesting enough so I decided to give it a go. I really liked it, it kept me on the edge of my seat and it felt quite haunting at times. Some things start to become obvious at a certain point but I didn’t really mind that, I still wanted to finish the story and see where it went.

      Something I think is pretty intriguing about this novel is that mental illness is addressed, it’s an interesting topic to read about and not many books deal with it and the way Annie’s hallucinations are described is well done, it’s an intense ride and feels scary at some points. Now and then you do feel like she could stand up for herself a bit more but who knows what one would do when found in the same kind of situation?

      The ending of the  book feels a bit rushed and you feel like some things could have been wrapped up a bit better but it isn’t all too bothersome I think because the whole ride is a thrilling one. What is really well done is the fact that you feel like something isn’t right right from the beginning of the novel and most of the time you can’t really you put your finger on what or it is, things just feel wrong.