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soup for the ailing

Until Saturday, November 12th, all of my immediate family were unicorns. Have you heard of them? A unicorn is now what an individual who has not contracted Covid-19 in these past long 2 3/4 years is referred to.

One of our unicorns has fallen. Jeff, who has been going into the office once again, contracted Covid-19. Upon waking up on that Saturday morning with a fever, he subsequently took a test to learn the bad news. He immediately began quarantining in the master bedroom. Marissa tested and was negative. I did not want to waste a test, since I don’t have as much direct contact with Jeff, deciding instead to only test if Marissa or Max came down with it.

Jeff had a rough Sunday, that is until we got him some Paxlovid. He is feeling better each day, told to quarantine for five days from contraction, so he will be testing again Thursday to see if he is negative and able to join the world again. (masked, for an additional 5 days, in accordance with the doctor’s orders)

As I type this, it is currently Tuesday, November 15th, Marissa tests daily, so far, so good! I fly out on Sunday morning to be home in time for Thanksgiving with my fellow unicorns, Connor, Dave, and my dad. Keeping my fingers crossed that all stays well and that M & M and I continue to be unicorns too!

Spinach & Cannellini Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups chicken stock, plus more as desired
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lemon, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, sauté stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, oregano, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the stock and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Stir in orzo; reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Stir in spinach and cannellini beans until the spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If you’d like to soup more brothy or if the soup has sat for a while and soaked up most of the liquid, add more chicken broth to suit your taste.

Remove bay leaves and ladle into bowls, then top with freshly grated Parmesan and serve.

Serves 6


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