Hearty Minestrone Soup

I used to really have a hard time liking broth based soups. Don’t judge me too harshly, but I can’t stand chicken noodle soup.  This is a safe space for me to admit that right?  I know everyone loves chicken noodle soup and its supposed to have magical healing abilities and all that, but it really just seems so boring to me.  Maybe I just haven’t had the right one yet (I really hope my mom doesn’t read today’s post).  For a long time, I just stuck to cream based soups, and then one day I tried a bite of French Onion Soup, and I realized broth based soups might have something to offer.  I now love a variety of broth based soups, the caveat is that they need to be totally loaded up on flavor.  This minestrone is souper flavorful(see what I did there?).  This soup is loaded with veggies, and honestly not too hard to make.  You can make this on a Saturday afternoon and have  an easy healthy lunch for the week. If the beans don’t offer enough protein, add a little shredded chicken to the soup and you are good to go.  Only bad thing is my kids won’t touch it, they all hate tomatoes, I blame their father.

I start by dicing my onions carrots and celery, into a fairly small dice. I don’t really want to get a big bite of any of these veggies, they are more my background veggies if that makes sense. DSC_0092 You should cook these at a medium high heat for about five minutes, I however started mine, heard a crying baby, had to turn off the heat for about a half hour and then came back to finish the soup.  Either way works.   I next add my zucchini.  I cut that into bigger size pieces because it is a showcase veggie.  That’s a thing right? DSC_0095 I cook for five more minutes, stirring occasionally.  I then am ready to add the rest of my veggies. Frozen spinach and frozen green beans go into the pot.  Then I add my rinsed canned beans.  I always rinse canned beans really well, they have a funny tinny taste that I don’t really enjoy.  Rinsing them seems to eliminate that taste.DSC_0098Next, two cans of diced tomatoes get added in and then some chicken stock and water. You could definitely use vegetable stock if you wanted to make this a vegetarian soup. I then add my dried spices, a little oregano and some red pepper flakes. I also add in a parmesan rind, I love fresh parmesan, and save the rind to add to soups or tomato sauce.  You might be able to purchase just the rind at the supermarket, or you can skip this step and just add a little fresh parmesan at the end.  DSC_0101Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for twenty minutes, or forget to turn it to low, let it come to a rolling boil before you run into the kitchen like a crazy person turning the heat down to low.  After twenty minutes of a low simmer add some small pasta, I added little shells because I think they are adorable, but any small pasta would be fine.  I cook for five minutes then turn the heat off and cover for twenty minutes.  I add some fresh basil to the pot and serve with a little fresh parmesan on top.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Large Celery Stalks
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Cup Frozen Green Beans
  • 2 Cups Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • 2 15 Oz Cans Cannelloni Beans, rinsed well
  • 2 15 Oz Cans Diced Tomatoes
  • 6 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 Parmesan Rind
  • 1 Cup Dried Small Pasta, Small Shells or Ditalini
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil Chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

  1. Chop onion, celery, and carrot into a small dice. Saute in a large stock pot over medium heat for five minutes. Add a pinch of salt and a few grounds fresh black pepper
  2. Meanwhile chop zucchini into medium size pieces. Add to pot and saute for five more minutes.
  3. Add green beans, spinach, cannelloni beans and tomatoes to pot. Pour in Chicken stock and water. Stir in red pepper flakes, oregano, and 1 tsp salt.
  4. Turn heat to low and add Parmesan rind to the soup. Simmer for twenty minutes.
  5. Add Pasta and cook for five more minutes. Cover pot turn off heat and wait twenty minutes. Stir in fresh basil. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.

 

 

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