Minestrone soup. Otherwise known as "let's toss in all the random produce I've got on hand" soup. Well, technically I put almost the same veggies in my soup every time, but I do tend to keep the same veggies around all the time.
Whenever I have zucchinis and yellow squash around this is my go-to dish. I'm trying to branch out and use them for other meals, but this one is so good I still make it often.
Start out by sauteing the onion and garlic in the olive oil with a big pinch of salt. Stir often to avoid burning. They should be soft and sweet smelling.
Chop up the zucchini, yellow squash, celery, and carrots (I don't know why they aren't pictured).
Stir them all into the pot with the onion and garlic.
It makes all the difference in the world to start the veggies off over the heat with just the olive oil and salt. when they are dumped into liquid first they get too soggy and the flavor doesn't get as strong as it could be.
Jeff looks at me like I'm crazy when I make minestrone. He comments how it's crazy how the taste comes about from a crazy hodge podge of fresh veggies and cans (the pasta is the only bit that doesn't fit into either category).
After the veggies have cooked for about ten minutes add the vegetable broth, tomato paste, and the beans.
Mix in the fresh tomatoes and the can of petite diced tomatoes. I don't always add fresh tomatoes, but I had a few sun golds that were getting soft, so I sliced them and tossed them in. I love the sweetness they bring.
Insert cheesy joke from Jeff about how this is my version of canned soup. There really is n non-corny version possible though, right?
Add the seasonings. Fresh is great, but I only had dried. That's fine too.
Once I have the taste of the soup just the way I want it I dump in the pasta. As soon is the pasta is al dente, take the soup off the heat and serve.
Jeff and I both prefer our soup thick and stew-like, not too brothy. If you want to think it out feel free to add some more vegetable broth. Serve with some good hearty bread for dipping.
by Liesl August-15-2014
hearty "throw what produce I have on hand" plus bean soup.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 stalks celery, diced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
two 15 oz cans kidney beans
a 15 oz can white beans
3 tbsp tomato paste
a small handful sun gold tomatoes, halved
a 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
three 15 oz cans vegetable broth
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups small pasta shells
1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt on medium low heat. Stir often to avoid burning until opaque.
2. Chop the celery, zucchini, yellow squash, and carrot. Toss them in the pot with the onion and garlic and stir occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften, about ten minutes.
3. Add the broth, beans, and tomatoes, and tomato paste. Stir everything in and turn the heat up to medium. Put the lid on and set a timer for 30 minutes.
4. Once the timer goes off add the seasonings. When you have the taste you want and the vegetable are soft (but not mushy) add the pasta. As soon as the pasta is al dente the pot can be taken off the stove, and the soup served. If you prefer the soup thinner add more vegetable broth.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
Yield: 6-8 servings
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