Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday Meals: Minestrone Soup

This is a “soup”-er healthy meal that tastes great and isn’t too difficult to make! The hardest part is really just getting all the vegetables chopped at the beginning.

It does call for lots of ingredients, and none of them are meats! (We didn’t have zucchini in our fridge at the time, but I think it would go great with this and have included it in the recipe below.)

It smelled soooo good here – there is nothing quite like the aroma of onions, garlic, and other vegetables cooking in olive oil!

After they’ve gotten soft, add the chicken broth.

Then we kinda strayed a little from the recipe, but it still turned out great. We added the pasta at this point – we used rotini, but I think every time we make this soup we use a different kind of pasta. We have used shells, penne, macaroni… basically whatever’s in the pantry.

I like to cover the pasta with the tomatoes and water, just to make sure it’s submerged and cooking. And basically, let it boil and cook for awhile until the pasta seems tender.

OK, ummm… this is how much basil and oregano I added. (This was before I stirred it in.) I’m pretty sure it’s more than a teaspoon of each. It was not over-flavored for us though.

See? When you mix it all together, it doesn’t look too herby.

Once the soup is pretty much cooked, add the cans of beans. We have also done garbanzo beans in the past. And you could use fresh or frozen green beans.

The last step is adding fresh spinach. Do this soon before you serve it, because the spinach doesn’t take very long to cook. Also, you can add a lot, since it will cook down.


And that’s it! We had ours with some rolls and crackers.

This is a fun meal to experiment with, adding various vegetables and trying different kinds of pasta. And it tastes great and is healthy for you!

 Minestrone Soup

1 tbsp. olive oil
1-2 onions, diced
2 celery stalks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 cups thinly sliced carrots
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 cup uncooked pasta
4 cups water
1 can (15.5 oz) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen green beans (or 1 can)
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves

  1. Heat oil in large soup pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, celery, garlic, carrots, and zucchini; cook and stir 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, water, sugar, pepper, basil, and oregano. Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cover with water. Boil 15-20 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the canned/frozen beans and heat through. Stir in spinach. Cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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