I had never made minestrone soup before, and now I’m glad I did! This soup is filling, yet light, if that makes sense. It has no meat in it, but the beef stock is so rich that it balances out the vegetables. The addition of beans makes it a bit heartier. And it’s easy and quick to make!
Minestrone is Italian for ‘the big soup’, and it can be made with any leftovers you have. I used ingredients that I had on hand and in the freezer, so this was a very inexpensive soup to make, yet extremely nutritious. What a great thing to make on the weekend, and freeze for leftovers or take for lunches during the week!
Tips to make good minestrone soup:
- For a good balance, try using at least three types of vegetables, one bean, and one starch. Or leave the starch out and make this a low carb and gluten free treat.
- Use vegetables in season, or bits of leftover veggies that you keep in a bag in the freezer. If the veggies are cooked already, throw them in the soup just long enough to heat them up, or they’ll turn into mush.
- Minestrone is typically made with beef stock but improvise with what you have. Using homemade broth will make a HUGE difference in the final product.
- If you add pasta or rice, make sure it’s cooked first and add it to the serving bowls individually so it doesn’t get mushy in the soup for leftovers. If freezing, it’s ok to add it to the portion right before you freeze it.
Rating: 2 forks (key)
Shawn won’t eat soup, and Allie thought this was too ‘vegetabley’ (sigh), but Zoie and I loved it so much we were glad to have it all to ourselves.
Page in NT: 210
Yield & Notes:
2 quarts beef stock
2 T olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and mashed [TNC: I added more, we love garlic]
1 large onion, chopped [TNC: Not in the NT recipe]
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped [TNC: I used 1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes and their juice]
2 cups cooked kidney beans [TNC: I used whole pintos that I had in the freezer even though they’re not an italian bean]
1 cup buckwheat or brown rice pasta, broken in bits [TNC: I used cooked elbow macaroni. Add this to each portion, not the pot]
1 cup fresh spinach or chard, finely chopped [TNC: I used some veggies I had on hand: peas and cauliflower]
parmesan cheese for topping
Cook onions & carrots in oil until onions are soft, then add chopped garlic. Add tomatoes, beans and the rest of your cooked vegetables and simmer about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and add hot pasta or rice to each serving, top with parmesan cheese. I like to top mine with sauerkraut and a dollop of cultured sour cream, yum!!
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