I truly wish it wasn't 88 degrees outside as I write this post. This photo would be far more effective if a chill was in the air....if the sky was grey and gloomy....if you were bundled up in a scarf. But, you'll have to take my word for it: Minestrone is good, no matter the season! In fact, it's a great soup for summertime, owing to all the fresh produce you can pour in. It's also a great soup for substitutions. The recipe is versatile and forgiving--and best of all, easy and healthy!
Minestrone (from a few different sources, combined into a new recipe)
-4 cups vegetable broth
-4 cups diced tomatoes (canned are fine, if you want to go that route)
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 cups carrots, chopped
-1/2 onion, diced
-1 tablespoon minced garlic
-2-3 stalks celery, chopped
-3 zucchini, chopped
-1/2 tablespoon dried basil
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
-Large pinch of Italian Seasoning
-2 bay leaves
-1 14.5-ounce can Cannellini beans
-1 14.5-ounce can dark kidney beans
-1/2 small can tomato paste
-About 1-2 cups cooked short pasta (like Ditalini, Alphabet, or Orzo)
1. Saute carrots, onion, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven. Cook until tender.
2. Add tomatoes with juice, celery, zucchini, beans, seasoning, and tomato paste to the pot. Add broth. Stir well.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.
4. When ready to serve, add the cooked pasta. Remove bay leaves and serve. Top with parmesan for a vegetarian option.
-Serves at least 8 generously as a main course.
Note: This makes a *lot* of soup. SO, another benefit of this tasty dish is that it's also economical! We froze our leftovers, which I think will work out fine. I'm looking forward to busting it out for an impromptu meal.