The weather this week in New England is forecasted to be a balmy 80 degrees every day. But inside my office it is a chilly 68. The central air blasts from the ceiling just behind where I sit, freezing me into a popsicle even on sweltering, summer days.
I'm not alone. A week ago, the New York Times published an article by Pam Belluck called Chilly at Work? Office Formula Was Devised for Men. Turns out, office temperatures are commonly set to 70 degrees based on a thermal comfort model that was developed in the 1960s. At this time, the formula was calculated using the resting metabolic rate of a 40-year old man weighing 154 pounds. Fifty-five years later the formula hasn't changed, despite the fact that women now constitute half of the American workforce.
In addition to increasing comfort for half of the office, the article also points out that reducing the reliance on air conditioning would save energy, which would benefit both the planet and the company's bottom line. However, it concludes that office culture is slow to change, and ladies will likely not see temperatures rise anytime soon.
Until then, I will continue to bundle up in a sweater and scarf, drape a blanket around my legs, and eat soup for lunch.
- 2 Chinese eggplant, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 summer squash, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrot, sliced
- 2 ribs of celery, sliced
- 4 tomatoes, diced
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 8 oz penne pasta
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, squash , and olive oil In a large mixing bowl. Coat with 2 tbsp olive oil. Spread vegetables on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, stir to combine, and cook 3 minutes until tomatoes begin to melt.
Add the roasted eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, squash, and vegetable stock to the Dutch oven. Increase the heat to high, and bring soup to a boil.
When the soup comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and add the pasta. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and add red wine vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.