Soup can take a while to meld…all those disparate flavors needing to come together, beans soaked overnight still need an hour or two to soften, so this evening the winter minestrone from David Tanis’ latest book took a couple of hours to come together. The flavors were immediately suspect from my wife’s perspective–fennel seed crushed and blended into the onions and garlic as well as a modicum of hot pepper flake which simply seemed to flow past my wife’s notice ( both items are on…The List.

Recipe is simple. Soak white beans overnight, then sauté onions, garlic, pancetta, fennel seed, pepper flakes, add water and pasta along with a pound of softly caramelized squash and maybe 90 minutes later, it all finally comes together. We slightly disagreed on the amount of salt requisite–she added a bit to hers though mine was fine as is. As a meal, not a bad soup. Good. Not a fanTAStic dish, but tasty and serviceable. At least, my wife plans to take it to work tomorrow.

The questionable hit was the filling for a quick apple galette. The crust remains a favorite for many, but in this case, the wife found the filling simply ‘aromatic’ but not a stellar creation. Well, fair enough. Filling was a couple of golden delicious apples with a bit of sugar and lemon zest laying on a bed of apricot preserves. The whole thing baked for about 40 minutes, washed in a bit of milk on the crust. A tasty little apple treat, nothing elaborate, but she asked me to take the remainder to work and the buyers’ office to share.