Friday, March 2, 2012

Mmmmm! Minestrone

Sometime ago I told you that Stephen could eat his weight in soup.  He loves it. period. end of sentence.  It could be a 99 degree, muggy August day and Stephen would have no problem slurping down a big 'ol bowl of soup.  Needless to say, we're a bit different in that department, although I do love a good, warm soup to warm my bones on a cold, winter day.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we haven't had much of a winter here.  It's February 29th and the low today was 48 with a high of 72...seriously.  Good thing I made this soup on Sunday (when it was probably about 10 degrees colder) - oh well, I still loved it!

I found this recipe on Allrecipes, and you can find it here.  I made small alterations to it that I will explain below.

 Cast of Characters:
*3T Olive Oil
*3 cloves of garlic, chopped
*2 onions, chopped
*2C chopped celery
*5 carrots, sliced
*2C of chicken broth
*2C of water
*4C of tomato sauce
*1/2C red wine (optional)
*1 can 15oz kidney beans, drained and rinsed
*1 can 15oz green beans
*2C baby spinach, rinsed
*3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
*1T chopped fresh oregano (I used 1/3T of dried)
*2T chopped fresh basil (I used 2/3T of dried)
*Salt and pepper to taste
*1 lb of pasta (I like the small tubular pasta - my favorite for this recipe: ditalini)
*Parmesan cheese for garnishing
*If you'd like to add meat, I made this recipe the first time by adding 1/4lb of pancetta (I got mine in the deli)

Before I get started, I like to chop up everything so it's ready (zucchini on the left, carrots and celery in the middle, onions on the right)

Chopped garlic cloves, ready to be used

Then I get going...
Stage Directions:
*In a large pot, over medium heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2-3 minutes.  Add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes (or until translucent).  If using pancetta, add it to your pot here.  Add celery and carrots, saute for 1-2 minutes.
*Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently; add red wine.  Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes, the longer the better.

 (pre zucchini, spinach, and beans)

*Cook your pasta according to the package.  We like pasta in our house so we cook a lot!
*Put pasta in the bottom of your bowl and add the minestrone to the top.  Garnish with parmesan and/or Romano for an extra umph! :)

Who knows what happened when I uploaded my pictures onto the computer - they got a little bit cut up, but it did not effect the taste of this yummy soup! ;)

I'm hanging out over with Mel at The Larson Lingo, checking out all the yummy soup recipes at her Soup's On Party!