Minestrone Soup

So it’s been a while since I’ve experienced fall or winter. Living in Colorado for 3 months this time of the year has definitely given me a taste of cold weather. It’s been down in the 20s since I’ve been here. I’ve seen leaves change and snow. It’s been fantastic and definitely given me a taste for warm soups. Plus a great warm broth loaded with nutrients is great for my running and recovery.

I got to spend some time in the mountains with my parents before I moved back to Miami. It was beautiful, we were up in a cabin, putting together a puzzle, sipping coffee, making smores, and enjoying the beautiful snow. Being that it was cold and were stuck inside soup was on our list. We had to get a little creative though, we didn’t have endless supplies and needed something easy and tasty.

So we thought, minestrone. It’s simple and tasty and healthy.

We just kinda winged it.

It turned out great. I love being in a situation that challenges my cooking skills. It’s even better when it turns out well.

Okay, okay. I’ll get to it. And note, the list looks long, but a lot of the ingredients are staples most people have in their house. Also know you can add different veggies to taste.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of veggie broth

  • 1 can of cannellini beans

  • 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes (choose a good brand like MuerGlen) I like fire-roasted

  • 1/2 can of tomato paste (the itty bitty guy)

  • 1 cup of dry pasta (shell or elbow type pastas are really good for this)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion chopped

  • 2 large carrots chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic diced

  • 1 medium zucchini sliced and cut in half or quartered.

  • 1/2 pound of chicken sausage (you can add more if you like it meaty)

  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 cup-cup of chopped greens (kale or spinach)

  • Black pepper to taste

  • Grated parmesan (block) for topping

Directions:

  1. Chop. Chop. Chop. Let’s just say, it’s much easier to chop everything before you get started cooking. Start with the onions and carrots (or any other thick veggies you use).

  2. In a large soup pot place the warm the oil and cook the onions and carrots till tender (7-10 minutes).

  3. Add the garlic, zucchini, tomato paste, oregano, thyme, salt, and red pepper. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until fragrant. (Don’t over cook the zucchini or it will be mushy).

  4. Now add the vegetable broth, with the tomatoes, and cannellini beans, plus pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then bring the soup to a simmer and place a lid over it with about 1 inch crack to let the steam release. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes (if you want the flavor to be more powerful let it simmer for 1-2 hours and leave it overnight it will be fantastic).

  5. While the soup is cooking, prepare your pasta (bring water to a boil and cook pasta for however long the box says).

  6. After the soup has simmered, add the fresh greens for a couple of minutes and the pasta.

  7. Place in bowls, top with parmesan cheese and a slice of bread and enjoy!

This really was such a tasty soup. Like I said, leave it overnight and it will soak up even more flavor for the next day. You can also add the pasta to the bowls individually instead of the whole pot if you’re worried about them getting mushy.

Jo ButlerComment