Five Ideas for Low Key Backyard Summer Fun
Here are a couple of my ideas for getting together with friends and keeping things chill, spontaneous and fun without leaving your own backyard.
This is a recipe we made quite a while ago – and I’m so glad we did, because I would be out of stuff to post otherwise! Tomorrow is the big day an our pop-up shop in downtown Portland is finally opening (for Girl Scouts). It has been one of the busiest weeks of my life, but it’s all paying off because the shop is adorable and there’s been no shortage of attention from the news leading up to it. We are hoping for great success! If you are in the Portland area, you should come out and see the shop!
And if you’re looking for something warm and cozy during the last dregs of winter, I suggest this soup. And specifically, I suggest making sure you use the fresh herbs. They gave this soup so much more depth – I was a little afraid it would get a little too starchy with beans and pasta. But it was balanced, spicy and hearty. We’ll definitely be making it again.
Here’s what you need:
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 ounces thick-cut bacon, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
5 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white (cannelini) beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup ditalini or other small pasta
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Wash the herbs well and wrap together with twine.
Heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil and the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes.
Next, add the broth, beans and herbs. Bring to a boil over high heat and then bring down to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove the herb bundle and then dip out 1 cup-ish of the bean and broth mixture into a blender. Puree and set aside. Add the pasta and boil until the pasta is cooked.
Mix back in the pureed bean/broth mixture before serving. Season with salt, pepper, parmesan, pepper flakes, and a dash of olive oil on top.
This recipe is adapted from Food Network.
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