Friday, September 27, 2013

Veggie-Packed Minestrone Soup


I love when the weather gets a little cooler, because I can bust out my soup recipes that have been gathering dust! This is a new recipe to us, but it is going to get used a lot this fall and winter...and spring (because that's how long we have some form of cooler weather in the Pacific Northwest!). Anyway, this has tons of vegetables and beans, and was also fantastic to feed our 11 month old, because she could pick up almost everything really easily! Our 2 year old and baby ate seconds and thirds! Plus, I really like hearty soups (I don't like to drink my dinner), and this is perfect!

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
4-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup frozen french cut green beans (I recommend cutting these in half or thirds; every other ingredient is
      bite-sized, so the green beans were kind of awkward to eat.)
2 15-oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 15-oz cans white beans
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained (I pulse them in a blender a few times so there aren't chunks)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
32 oz (4 cups) vegetable or chicken broth
3 cups hot water
1/2-1 cup ditalini or other small pasta
4 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
2-3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried parsley

Heat a large stock pot to medium high heat. Add olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Saute 4-5 minutes, until onions start to look translucent. Add zucchini and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes longer, stirring until garlic is fragrant. Add green beans, kidney and white beans, tomatoes, and seasonings, and stir to combine. Add broth and water and bring soup to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes, until carrots and celery are tender. Add pasta and cook until pasta is soft, 8-10 minutes. Add additional broth or water if you feel it is not your preferred consistency. Remove pot from heat and stir in spinach and parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 8 (1.5 cup) servings.

{Kudos to ourbestbites.com!}

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