Monday, February 23, 2009

Minestrone Soup

I make lots of soup during the cold months of the year. It's warming, comforting, easy on the budget, plus, I can send it in a thermos with my husband to work! Whats not to like! In fact, the only thing I have liked about winter the last few years is the SOUP! Sorry, I'm just looking forward to spring so much. It's warming up some this week, so I know spring is around the corner! But back to the Minestrone Soup. My daughter and I have been experimenting with making Minestrone this winter. She, because she's trying to replicate one at a favorite restaurant; me, because I end up using whats on hand. I went to the store to buy kale for the soup, but it was not fresh, so I ended up using some frozen spinach I had in the freezer that needed to be used. In fact, I was supposed to be posting about pork roast, but my pictures didn't turn out well, so, back to the Minestrone Soup! First, we'll chop our veggies;
1 large carrot, 1 large stalk of celery, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/4 pound of fresh green beans. In a soup pot, over medium high heat, add 2 Tbs olive oil and add veggies to pot.

Stir and let veggies brown a little , 15 minutes or so. Then you need to add 6 cups water or broth( I used both, 3 cups water and 3 cups broth).Add salt and pepper and canned tomatoes and simmer about 20 min . Add the chopped zucchini and rest of ingredients and simmer another 10 min. This recipe is adapted from an old Good Housekeeping cookbook.

Minestrone Soup
2 Tbs. olive oil
1large carrot, diced
1 large rib celery,thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 cups water or broth
1 1/2 tsp. salt (I used sea salt)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano, or 1 Tbs.of fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp.dried thyme, optional
1 zucchini, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, 15 oz.
about 5 oz. chopped frozen or fresh spinach ( or use kale)
1 can of cannellini beans (white kidney beans), or 1 can of red kidney beans
1/2 cup macaroni or other pasta of choice
1 cooked chicken breast, cubed (optional)
grated Parmesan cheese, for topping
In a soup pot over medium high heat, cook carrot, celery , onion, green beans and garlic in olive oil until soft and lightly browned, about 15 min. Add water or broth, salt and pepper,oregano and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered,for about 20 min. Stir in spinach, macaroni, beans and chicken, if using, and cook for another 10 minutes until pasta is done.

Ladle into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired. This is such a flavorful soup, especially if you can use fresh oregano, but dried works well too. And it is great without chicken, but my husband the carnivore, likes meat in his soup! So, make a pot of soup to enjoy while we wait out the end of winter and look forward to all those spring recipes!


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  2. Yumm. I do so love minestrone. And everyone makes it differently. Yours looks wonderful.

  3. Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, and yours looks fabulous. What a wonderful array of colors, flavors, and textures.


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