Minestrone

21 02 2015

This is a healthy and comforting Italian soup, sure to wrap you in warmth even on the coldest of winter days! It’s loaded with veggies and is a great option for meatless Mondays, or to enjoy during Lent. Mangia!

Minestrone

The following serves 6 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can crushed tomatoes – if you don’t have crushed on hand, puree a can of diced tomatoes in a high-speed blender until smooth
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, or fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of green beans cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry ditalini pasta
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Chopped parsley

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste, dry herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring around, for about a minute. Deglaze the pan with wine and cook until nearly evaporated.

Next add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in green beans and cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, add the pasta and cook 10 minutes more. Season with salt to taste.

Serve with lots of cheese and parsley for garnish.

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Green Minestrone

6 10 2013

Minestrone is a thick, Italian soup, perfect for fall. This is a great make ahead meal too. I made this soup over the weekend so I’d have an easy weeknight meal. All I have to do is bring it to a boil, add pasta and cheese and poof….a delicious homemade soup during the week!

Green Minestrone

Green Minestrone

The following serves 4 (compliments of Rachel Ray and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 4 slices pancetta or 1/4 pound thick cut prosciutto, chopped (I used turkey bacon)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 2 cans white beans, cannellini (Rachel uses half white beans and half chickpeas, however I just doubled up on the white bean)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups chicken broth or stock (I used homemade stock)
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta or mini penne pasta (I use whole wheat orzo)
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 10 ounces triple washed spinach, stems removed and coarsely chopped, or any other dark greens
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano, plus extra to pass at the table
  • 12 to 16 leaves fresh basil, torn or shredded or 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves

Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. Add oil and pancetta or prosciutto. Saute 2 minutes and add onions, celery, garlic, zucchini and bay to the pot. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, to your taste. Saute vegetables 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beans, and chicken broth to the pot. Cover soup and bring to a boil. Add pasta and green beans to the soup and cook 8 minutes, or until pasta is just tender. Stir in spinach to wilt, 1 minute. Stir in grated cheese and ladle soup into bowls. Top soup with torn or shredded basil or chopped parsley.

This Girl’s extra tip: To make this soup ahead of time, follow all of the directions except adding the pasta, cheese and basil. Cool soup and store in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat it, mix in the grated cheese and bring the soup back to a boil (I add the cheese before bringing to a boil so that it melts evenly into the soup and doesn’t clump). Next, add the pasta and cook 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Top with basil and enjoy (be sure to serve with extra grated cheese)!





Rustic Minestrone

16 01 2012

Soup….one of the ultimate comfort foods! Whether it’s cold outside or you’re feeling a little under the weather, a rich and hearty homemade soup is bound to make you feel warm and comforted! I tried this rustic minestrone recipe from Everyday Food tonight for my main squeeze who’s sick, and it did not disappoint.

Rustic Minestrone

The following serves 4 – 6:

  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups shredded chicken if you’d like or have on hand, I didn’t use the chicken and instead added a few more veggies
  • 3/4 cup small pasta shells ( I used ditalini pasta instead)
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 parmesan rind, plus grated parmesan (ask your deli for the rind if you can’t find it by the fancy cheeses)
  • 1 bunch kale (about 3/4 lb), tough stems and ribs removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups)
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced medium
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Course salt and ground pepper

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes with juice and cook until liquid is evaporated, 4 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil.

Add pasta, carrots and parmesan rind and cook 5 minutes. Add kale, zucchini and chickpeas and cook until zucchini is crisp-tender, 5 minutes. If you’d like to use the chicken, stir it in at this point and cook until warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove rind before serving. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve with a salad or garlic bread.

This Girl’s tip: I waited to add the pasta until the very end, and gave all the veggies a few extra minutes to cook. It could be because I added more veggies instead of the chicken, but I would recommend adding the pasta at the end, cooking until al dente according to the package.