I didn’t make any specific New Year’s resolutions for 2020. The experts will probably say that’s a mistake – if it’s not written down and concrete, I’m doomed to fail.

What I did decide to do is return to eating more healthfully and getting regular exercise. That doesn’t mean I’m trying to lose 20 pounds or run an 8-minute mile.

What it does mean is that I’m trying to get at least six fruits and vegetables into my diet each day. And because I’m getting older, a fruit doesn’t mean a whole piece of fruit anymore – half of a banana or a third of a large apple is plenty.

I’ve found one easy way to sneak in a bunch of veggies is to make a broth-based soup. Usually, this means vegetable soup, but on Sunday, I mixed it up a little and made a big pot of minestrone. This recipe contains onion, celery, tomatoes, cabbage and zucchini (and a little bacon ... I’m not a saint).

A cup of this with lunch and dinner is oh-so filling and delicious to boot.


3 slices bacon, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon basil leaf, crushed

1 can beef broth

1 can bean with bacon soup

1 1/2 soup cans water

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped cabbage

1 cup cubed zucchini

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until almost done. Add onion and celery and cook until soft. Add garlic and basil and cook a minute or two more, until fragrant. Stir in broth, soup, water, tomatoes, pasta and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add cabbage and zucchini and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Makes about 8 cups.

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