Here’s a marvelous recipe for minestrone soup, which is chocked full of veggies and so, so good for you, both health-wise and taste-wise. Feel free to use the veggies you prefer – sometimes I add fresh spinach at the same time I add the pasta. Speaking of pasta, you can use regular macaroni or small shells instead of the twisted elbows in this recipe. The pasta will expand while cooking, so add ½ cup if you prefer less or ¾ cup if you like more of it.
This minestrone’s great year-round, is vegan and makes a great meatless-Monday meal – it is hearty, bursting with flavor and goes great with some crusty bread or soft breadsticks!
Ingredients (Serves 8-12)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sweet onions, diced small
- 2 stalks of celery, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup zucchini, diced small
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (35 oz.) whole plum tomatoes with juice (I used Tuttorosso)
- 32 oz. vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- Sea salt, to taste
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 cans (15 oz. ea.) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cans (15 oz. ea.) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- Hot water
- ½ to ¾ cup pasta (I used Mueller’s Hidden Veggie Twisted Elbows)
- Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté onion, celery, carrots, green beans, zucchini and garlic over medium heat for several minutes, until onions start becoming translucent.
Place tomatoes with their juices in a large pot and break them apart by squishing them with clean hands.
Add the sautéed vegetables, broth, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to the pot.
Next stir in the drained beans. Add enough hot water so the veggies and beans are covered. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.
Add the pasta and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.
Ladle into a bowl or soup mug and garnish with grated parmesan cheese.
Make this a meal by adding some nice crusty bread and a fresh tossed salad.
This soup will last several days in the refrigerator, but you will need to add extra water each time you reheat it as the pasta absorbs much of it.
Eat, drink and be merry!
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I don’t know if you’ve ever cooked with barley, but I prefer it to adding other pastas as they tend to get “squishy” the more you reheat. The barley stays firm (the way I like my men) regardless of how many re-heats you go through.
Yes, Cathy, barley would be great in this – I may have to make some barley vegetable soup next. And LOL about your firm comment! — Kelley