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Posts Tagged ‘minestrone soup’

by Caitlin Saniga

If you're puzzled about the herbs in this soup (like I was at first), just have faith. The mint and parsley give it a nice, bright flavor. And the few vegetables give this soup a light quality.

If you're puzzled about the herbs in this soup (like I was at first), just have faith. The mint and parsley give it a nice, bright flavor. And the vibrant colors in this soup aren't a result of photo edits. Because of the quick cook time, the vegetables' colors explode and they maintain some of their firmness.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, quartered and chopped
  • 1 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large leaves of Swiss chard, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint (leaves from about 7 sprigs)
To make this a completely vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

To make this a completely vegetarian dish, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Coat the bottom of a large stockpot with the olive oil and set over medium heat. When hot, add the chopped onion, cooking and stirring until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and water, and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer.

I used semolina small veggie shells that I found at a bulk foods market. The ingredients include tomato, spinach and beet, and the pasta was so pretty I couldn't pass it up.

I used semolina small veggie shells that I found at a bulk foods market. The ingredients include tomato, spinach and beet, and the pasta was so pretty I couldn't pass it up.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let simmer about 5 minutes, letting the onions soften further.

In the meantime, cook the shell pasta until it is al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.

Stir the carrot into the stockpot. Cook for about 10 minutes, then add the beans and zucchini until the squash is just cooked, another 5 minutes or so.

Don't forget to compost if you're able to! The scraps from this recipe looked so pretty, and I love thinking about what all of the different colored vegetables do to enrich the soil.

Don't forget to compost if you're able to! The scraps from this recipe looked so pretty, and I love thinking about what all of the different colored vegetables do to enrich the soil.

When the veggies are cooked through but still somewhat firm, add the Swiss chard, parsley, mint and pasta. Serve immediately. If you don’t plan to eat all of the soup right away, reserve the pasta and add it just before reheating (otherwise it will absorb all of the liquid in the soup and turn mushy).

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Urban Pantry

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by Caitlin Saniga

Another day, another way. The star of this minestrone soup is chicken. As a base, minestrone typically consists of a soup with carrots, zucchini, beans and pasta. Some of today’s extras include olive oil and, of course, chicken.

Even with the chicken, this soup remains fairly light. This pasta is best served right away because the pasta is cooked with the rest of the soup. If you want to serve it later, cook and store the pasta separate from the soup, and add it in later.

  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8-10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup dried radiatore pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

In a large soup pot, cook the carrots, celery and onion in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add broth, water, kidney beans, chicken, green beans and pepper. Bring to a boil; add pasta. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Stir in zucchini. Return to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes more or until pasta is tender and green beans are crisp-tender. Stir in the undrained tomatoes; heat through.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Better Homes and Gardens

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by Caitlin Saniga

As a major fan of minestrone soup, I’m happy to share with you my favorite renditions of the classic. As far as I’m concernned, minestrone typically has a base of onions, carrots, zucchini, beans and pasta. Extras are just that! So in the next three days, I’ll be showing you my three favorite ways to prepare the soup. You’ll see that each has its own personality. Here’s my recipe for day one: a hearty vegetable version.

I scored some mini zucchinis at Fresh Market and snuck in lots of extra vegetables in this soup. Can you spot the onion, celery and carrot?

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 2 big cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup frozen Italian cut green beans
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I used the low-sodium version of this.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can low-sodium diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded (I ran mine through the food processor.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup mini rotini pasta
  • shredded Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.

Saute the onion, celery, garlic and green beans in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.

Add the vegetable broth to the pot, plus the zucchini, beans, tomatoes, carrots, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and hot water.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Set aside.

Add the spinach leaves and parsley to the soup pot, and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Ladle the soup into bowls, adding a spoonful of noodles to each serving. Sprinkle cheese over each bowl. Serve immediately (Or reserve the pasta separately for a later serving).

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Spark Recipes

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