Ah yes, the return of fall. That means kids are back to school, there’s a slight chill in the air, college football is on our television and the return of soups to my menu planning. I really miss these guys during the summer. I love how you basically just chop and add things to a pot and let it simmer. Even better? The longer it sits, the better it tastes. Because the weather is really starting to change her (the high next Tuesday is 63°!), I figured it was time to make some of my hearty minestrone soup and freeze some of it for later.
Minestrone soup is basically a thick tomato-based soup made with vegetables, beans, stock and the addition of pasta or rice. It can be vegetarian or include meat (usually meatballs), its whatever your palate desires. The great thing about this recipe is you can use any of the vegetables you have on hand. I’m sure there are traditionalists who will tell you you must have vegetables xyz but guess what? Anything goes. This is a recipe that everyone in my family loves. It’s filling, tasty and easy to make. I hope you enjoy!
Hearty Minestrone Soup
- 1 can dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 can cannelini beans (or any white bean rinsed and drained)
- 32 0z of vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced
- 1/4 celery, diced
- 1/4 cup zucchini, diced
- 1/4 cup carrots, shredded
- 1/4 cup frozen green beans, cut in 2″ pieces
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can Progresso Recipes Starters Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 2-3 tbsp parsley, chopped (save 1 tbsp for garnish if desired)
- 1/2 cup small pasta (I use ditalini)
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/2 ground Mediterranean oregano
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or large sauce pan and add celery. Cook the celery for a few minutes (because they take longer to soften) and then add onion, zucchini and green beans. Once onions are translucent, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.
- Add the Progresso Recipes Starters Fire Roasted Tomatoes, carrots, 3/4 of the vegetable stock, beans and the spices. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add pasta and cooke for 15 minutes. Add spinach during the last 3-4 minutes.
- Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.
I rarely buy shredded carrots because they don’t seem to last as long and they’re more expensive. So a trick I do is just put them in my mini food-processor to shred them. They are smaller than you may want but for me, it makes it easier. Also, if you’re throwing everything together and don’t have a can of the Progresso Recipe Starters Fire Roasted Tomatoes, substitute a can of crushed tomatoes with just a pinch of red pepper flakes. But trust me, the recipe starter makes the difference!
Disclosure: I was given product in order to conduct this “review.” While it’s not a FULL review of the product (separate post) and only suggestions using it, I’m disclosing it because I’m honest like that. Statements are 100% mine and your opinion may differ.