snow day? NOT.


This is a crappy picture of what the view from my office looked like a few hours ago.

It’s snowing. The kind of snow that gets all up in your face while you’re walking. The kind of snow that gets you a snow day, if you’re lucky. I am not that lucky. While almost all pre/elementary/middle/high schools and a good chunk of colleges in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs have been gifted with a snow day, the particular college that I work for has decided that it is much too macho to partake in such a sissy thing as a snow day.

I do not agree. I am not too macho for a snow day. I don’t think the people who have to commute home in this ridiculous weather are too macho for a snow day. I think this is a silly thing to be macho about. Just let people go home, already.

Also, why do people use umbrellas in the snow? It’s not really effective. Particularly when you live in a city that is apt to do one of two things with your umbrella: rip it out of your hands and send it flying many feet away and/or totally invert it, rendering said umbrella useless because now all the metal pieces are bent in weird ways and you can’t close the umbrella….it’s just not worth it.

This soup would be good for a snow day. Well, this soup is good for any chilly day/night where you want something warm and hearty, but with very little effort. No picture of this one, mostly because we ate it all before I was able to get one. You can find a lovely picture here, though.

Some notes: I used rainbow chard in place of the collards, one can of beans instead of three, and dried oregano and thyme instead of fresh. Oh, and instead of one bunch of each green, I used an entire bag of kale and entire bag of chard and just threw them in when I added the broth instead of pre-cooking them. It was still delicious, and much easier.

Italian Vegetable Stew
recipe from Bon Appetit

1/2 1-pound loaf sourdough bread, torn into 2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
1 bunch collard greens, center ribs and stems removed
1 bunch Tuscan or other kale, center ribs and stems removed
Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
2 medium carrots, peeled, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig marjoram or oregano
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
Shaved Parmesan (for serving)
  1. Scatter bread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Let stand at room temperature to slightly dry out, about 2 hours.
  2. Working in batches, cook collards and kale separately in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, about 3 minutes per batch. Rinse to cool. Squeeze out excess water; roughly chop. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, and leek; stir often until softened, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you add them. Cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is evaporated and tomatoes begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add broth, beans, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf, and reserved greens; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until flavors meld and soup thickens slightly, 40-50 minutes. DO AHEAD: Soup can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool slightly; chill until cold. Cover and keep chilled. Reheat before continuing. Store bread airtight at room temperature.
  6. Just before serving, gently stir bread and 1/4 cup oil into soup. Divide among bowls, top with Parmesan, and drizzle with oil.

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