Minestrone Soup. Soup can be comforting yet also disguise itself as a healthy meal. My Minestrone Soup is pretty simple to make and will give your house a lovely fragrance as it’s cooking. I think it tastes better if it sits in the refrigerator for a day or more before consumption.
Minestrone Soup is an Italian kitchen staple. According to my Italian friends, there is no “set” recipe for Minestrone Soup. Families will pass Minestrone Soup recipes down through the generations just like Nona’s Italian Gravy for Sunday Dinners.
My Minestrone Soup is chock full of vegetables, white cannellini beans, and orzo pasta in a rich vegetable-based stock. In this recipe, I use carrots, onion, tomato, zucchini, and fresh spinach leaves. Minestrone is a versatile soup so you can use whatever vegetables that you have on hand. If you don’t have orzo pasta, use a small pasta like tiny elbows, baby penne, or even alphabet pasta. The white cannellini beans add a creaminess to the soup.
For some zest, I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the soup bowls prior to serving.
Ladle the soup into the soup bowls. Garnish with Italian parsley. Sometimes I like to add some shredded Parmesan to the soup before serving.
Serve my Minestrone Soup with a crusty whole grain bread to sop up all that goodness.
From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….
2 T olive oil or vegetable stock
2 carrots, sliced into coins
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 t dried basil
2 t dried oregano
1/2 c dry white wine
1 bay leaf
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 c diced tomato (canned or fresh)
1 c diced zucchini
1 c cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 c vegetable stock, add more stock or add water if you like a thinner soup
1 c small pasta such as orzo or a grain such as barley (cook separately, especially if you plan to freeze soup leftovers) You want one to two cups after it’s cooked.
2 c packed fresh spinach leaves
1/2 T agave or maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to taste
Splash of balsamic vinegar in bowls
1 T shredded Parmesan (optional)
Bunch Italian parsley leaves, to garnish
1. Warm the olive oil or vegetable stock over medium heat in a soup pot.
2. Saute the carrots and onion until the onion is translucent.
3. Add the sliced garlic, basil, and oregano and saute a few minutes.
4. Pour in the white wine and stir to break up any brown bits that have formed in the pot.
5. Add the bay leaf, red pepper flakes, diced tomato, diced zucchini, cannellini beans and vegetable stock.
6. Let the soup simmer for about an hour over low heat. Cover the soup pot while it simmers. Stir once in a while.
7. While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
8. When the soup has simmered and reduced slightly, add the spinach leaves, the agave syrup, and the drained cooked pasta.
9. Let the soup simmer a few more minutes until the spinach has wilted. Remove the bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Add the splash of balsamic vinegar to the soup serving bowls.
11. Ladle the soup into the bowls.
12. Garnish with the optional shredded Parmesan and the Italian parsley leaves and serve!.
Makes 4 – 6 servings. Serve with crusty bread and some butter or olive oil. Offer with a Caesar Salad on the side or serve as your soup course prior to an entree. This soup freezes well if you don’t add the pasta.
Variations: Add some chopped green beans, chopped broccoli, shredded cabbage, chopped kale, or chopped cauliflower. Try different small pastas including tiny shells, broken vermicelli or spaghetti, or baby penne. Use diced potatoes instead of the pasta.
Order some orzo pasta from Amazon:
Get a nice soup pot (I have this one!) from Amazon:
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