Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Minestrone Soup

I have only ever had canned minestrone, and then only a few times, but my husband loves it so I decided to try my hand at making up my own recipe for it. This is what we are having for dinner tonight. It turned out great (I think, as well as my son #1 who is my picky, non veggie eating son), and has lots of veggies in it. I hope you'll try it out and let me know what you think.

½ Cup Butter (or Olive Oil if you live healthier than I do)
½ to 1 tsp dried basil (more or less to your tastes) Fresh would work also
½ to 1 tsp Italian seasoning (more or less to your tastes)
1 med to large onion
2 stalks celery
2 medium sized carrots
One small zucchini (like you get at the grocery store)
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 can of diced Italian style tomatoes (do NOT drain it)
Four cups diced potatoes
6 to 8 cups of broth (I used chicken, but veggie broth would be lovely)
1 15oz can green beans (drained)
1 15oz can peas (drained)
1 15oz can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 15oz can Great Northern beans (or other similar bean of your choice, drained and rinsed)
1 to 1 ½ cups of small macaroni shells
1 6oz can of tomato paste

In a large stock or soup pot heat butter or olive oil. Chop the onion, carrots and celery finely and add it to the pot, along with the spices and sauté until the onions begin to become translucent. Add the minced garlic and sauté a little longer. Add the can of tomatoes (including the juices) and the zucchini and stir. Let simmer over medium heat while you dice the potatoes (I peeled them, but you could leave the peels on). Add the potatoes to the pot and then 6 cups of the broth. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium to medium high heat for about 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften but are not fully cooked. Add the cans of drained green beans, peas, kidney and great northern beans. If you think you will need more broth for cooking the macaroni noodles, now is the time to add it (I used 8 cups total when I did this, but if you use fewer or smaller veggies it may not need that much) Bring the soup to a boil and add the macaroni shells, stirring. Reduce the heat to just over medium and stir in the can of tomato paste. Cook until the macaroni noodles are soft, making sure that the potatoes are also cooked through. Enjoy!
You can serve this soup with a little Parmesan or Romano cheese grated on top. This makes a huge pot of soup. It will feed my family of 7 not including the baby at least twice. You could cut the recipe in half, but you would have to use only half a can of the veggies and beans, or just use one kind of each. Of course you can use different kinds of veggies or leave out those that you don’t like. I chopped up the celery, carrots and zucchini with a food processor so that they were fairly fine, and my pickiest eater (who hates most veggies) loved the soup.


Lisa said...

I was so going to post a fabulous Minestone soup recipe that we love, but didn't because it calls for beef consumme, and I have no clue how you substitute for that!

Millie said...

Mmmm, this sounds really good. It's almost soup season here. :)