A New Toy!! And Really Good Soup

I am so excited.  One thing that I have always wanted, and have never had, has been a pepper mill.  I have grown up with preground pepper, and have never used anything different.  But today, everything has changed.  I went to Sur La Table and bought the coolest pepper mill that I have ever set eyes upon.  It's neon yellow, and you turn it one way to make it grind pepper, and the other way for salt.  I love it.
And the new pepper mill was just perfect for this soup.  It added just the right touch.  Oh, how I love this soup from the bottom of my heart.  It's quite hearty, and the broth is just right.  Don't even get me started on how good the veggies are, and it's really quick to make too.  I highly recommend getting the chicken bullion- I purchased mine from the Asian Market, and I'm pretty sure that's what makes this soup really good. 
The name of this soup came about because originally it was wedding soup, but then I decided to add some beans that needed to be used up.  M said it seemed rather like ministrone, and there you have it.  I guess that makes it really Italian.  And speaking of Italian, I just got a really big Italian cookbook from the library, which has a lot of good looking recipes. 
I've been feeling really bad for M recently, because she seems to be constantly shivering.  That's kind of backwards this year, because normally I am the one who is so sensitive to cold.  I'll admit, the weather is so crazy this time of year- a cold front just came from Canada, and it was 70 degrees yesterday, and now it's 30.  And that's really good soup weather...

Wedding-Ministrone Soup

Adapted from I Eat Food

Serves 8

1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 medium head broccoli, cut into florets
6 cloves garlic, pressed
7 1/2 cups water
3 tbsp vegetarian chicken bullion
1 veggie bullion cube
1 1/2 cups chopped fake meat, cut into small cubes (I used a giant sausage-like object that was rather firm)
1 ½ cups small pasta, like small penne, cooked
1 bunch spinach, washed and stemmed
Generous ½ cup dried great northern beans, cooked
1 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 4 tbsp water
Freshly-ground black pepper

Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat and add the green onions, carrots, broccoli, and garlic. Sauté until the broccoli turns bright green, about 7 minutes. Add the water and bullions, and bring to a boil. Return to a simmer, and add the meat, pasta, spinach, beans, and thyme. 10 minutes or so before you serve the soup add the corn starch mixture. Serve, topped with fresh pepper.

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