Yum yum, gimme some SOUP!

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It’s cold, and it’s snowing finally. This calls for soup, my most favorite food category in the world! I’m

Plus, since I have been a bad girl and have eaten too many chocolates, cheese and chips, I better make my soup a healthy one.

I’m thinking Italian, after my Italian companion and I recently reminisced about our trip 2 summers ago.

Bring on the Tuscan White Bean Soup with Swiss Chard!

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Ingredients:

1 bunch Swiss chard (or other dark leafy green such as kale)
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices finely chopped prosciutto
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (divided)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (divided)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
3 cans white (cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed
1 32-ounce box low-sodium chicken broth (about 4 cups)
1 Parmesan rind
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Splash of balsamic vinegar (about 1 teaspoon)

Instructions:

Cut off the tough ends of the chard and rinse the greens thoroughly. Shake or pat dry and tear into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Saute the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent, stirring often. Add the prosciutto, HALF the herbs, the red pepper flakes (if you choose), and bay leaf and saute for another 3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the beans and saute for another minute or two. Pour in the chicken broth, toss in the Parmesan rind, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Swiss chard and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the greens have wilted. Season with salt, pepper, the other half of the herbs, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Remove the Parmesan rind before serving (if you can find it!).

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and warm crusty bread.

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“If you can walk, you can snowshoe”

I still have a few days off, before I go back to work. One fun idea that popped into my head when discussing how to keep boredom at bay with my boyfriend, was to go snowshoeing.

It seems like a great idea, doesn’t it?

Here’s why:

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1. It will keep with your new years resolution of staying fit.

2. Some of the trails are gorgeous.

3. Great way to suck it up and enjoy the winter weather.

4. It’s so cheap!

5. It’s peaceful, especially if it’s gently snowing out at the time.

6. It provides a cardio workout while also building strength, agility, balance and endurance.

7. You can burn more calories snowshoeing than you can walking, running or cross country skiing at the same pace.

8. It’s FUN!

One problem, I need snow in Toronto to do it! Time is running out, snow already!!