Thursday, January 8, 2015

Minestrone

The unseasonable mild temps have gone and real winter weather has arrived with a low in the single digits today and a high of 20 degrees. The snow shovels were needed yesterday and the wind chill makes it feel mighty cold! And, after an assessment of pantry and refrigerator ingredients, making a pot of soup seemed a perfect idea on both counts. 

A wonderful hearty bowl of Minestrone is warming, filling and delicious!
The great thing is that Minestrone is so versatile that you can use whatever you have on hand.
My goal was to use up some of the bags of dried beans and pasta I had accumulated in the cabinet. I had standard veggies in the crisper drawer and some peas in the freezer plus a wedge of Asiago cheese in the fridge. Oh, I love Asiago cheese!

Go ahead, check your pantry and fridge and I bet you have all you need to make a pot of soup. You want to have about 4 cups of veggies of your choice.  I soaked and cooked half a bag of beans but  still had more beans than I needed since I also wanted to add a can of kidney beans to the soup. Add pasta or rice if you like and any fresh herbs you have on hand.  I have small pots of basil, sage and rosemary growing in a sunny southern window sill and it is just enough for winter cooking needs. 
So, feel free to adjust the ingredients as you wish.
Minestrone Soup

PRINT RECIPE

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2-quarts chicken broth
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry pasta, cooked (elbow, small shells or other small shaped pasta)
15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup frozen peas or green beans
2 cups dried beans, cooked and drained (or use canned beans)
a couple handfuls Spring Green Salad mix or baby spinach
2 Tbs. fresh herbs, chopped
adjust seasonings, if desired
grated Asiago cheese or Parmesan cheese

Directions
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat; add celery, onion and carrots and cook 5-8 minutes stirring frequently.  Add garlic and cook an additional minute.

Add diced tomatoes with liquid, broth, bay leaves, salt and pepper.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer gently 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Stir in cooked pasta, kidney beans, peas, cooked beans and Spring Green salad mix.  Cook 5 minutes more.

Ladle hot into bowls and grate on cheese.
I filled almost 4 quart canning jars. Enough to eat, freeze and share :)

16 comments:

Debbie Petras said...

My husband loves minestrone soup. This recipe looks great and I love your suggestions. Thank you Lorraine. I will try it.

Blessings and love,
Debbie

Tori Leslie said...

Hey thanks for the recipe! Looks perfect for our below freezing weather!!
Have a great day!

Lea said...

It is 16 degrees here today and I'm with you, the absolute perfect day for soup. We are soup lovers!

Carol Z said...

Soup and stew weather. I put a bowl of chili up and it was just right for today. Keep warm and cozy!

Adrienne said...

Perfect for the cold winter weather!
~Adrienne~

Ann Thompson said...

This time of year I could live on soup if my husband didn't insist on having other things for dinner :) This looks really good

podso said...

Love soup and it's so forgiving. Turns leftovers into a gourmet meal!

Lynn said...

It's beautiful, I'd love a bowl for lunch! Never thought I'd say this, but I'm looking forward to it warming up to 32 degrees tomorrow:@)

Heather said...

That looks like a great meal for a cold winter day yum yum!! Enjoy ~Heather

Cynthia Chapman said...

My favorite soup!! Thanks for posting I will be making this weekend!

FABBY'S LIVING said...

This is got to be one one of my very fave soups and I'm loving yours sweet friend.
I'm specially here to wish a God's blessings for you and your lovely family; throughout this new year 2015.
FABBY

lindsey said...

I make lots of soup and this recipe looks like one we would love. I have a soup maker which is one of the best kitchen gadgets i have :) This is my first visit to blogs since Christmas so I pray that 2015 will bring many blessings and encouragement to you and your family x

Cindy said...

I could live on soup and minestrone is among my favorites! Thank you for sharing yours. I'm back after an extended break from blogging and looking forward to catching up with my blogger friends.

Kristina said...

I believe I have all the ingredients to make this. Looks good. We've been enjoying homemade chicken noodle soup, millet stew and last night I made chili and cornbread. It's been awfully cold here lately.

Laurie said...

This is one of my favorite soups, and I will be making it soon to warm us on these very cold days. Thank you for sharing your recipe, Lorraine.

Maggie Ann said...

Hi Lorraine, Your soup looks delish! Its the perfect meal for bitter cold weather. I have to confess loving to open 2 cans of Progrosso soup...one basil tomato and one any vegetable or wedding soup. Then I add pasta....and some quickly sauted celery and open a can of beans, rinse them and add big spoons of dried herbs and anything handy from left-over veggies. There, I've given you my secret soup recipe....lol. We love it, and it makes so much it lasts for several days. Hope you are cozy and warm! Maggie

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