Soup's On

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Wet December weather just makes you want soup for dinner. Well, at least that’s what I thought, but my family seemed vaguely horrified when I suggested a nice bowl of Minestrone Soup for dinner last night. The reaction went something like this:

“Doesn’t it have a lot of vegetables in it?”

“What do you mean its vegetarian?”

“This is like a first course, right?”

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That made for a challenge I just couldn’t pass up, so I set out to make a delicious Minestrone Soup that would not only satisfy all appetites, but be loved and adored - just as a good soup should be. Of course I kept all the delicious vegetables, but used lots of herbs for a ton of flavor.  The vegetables were cut into bite size pieces to keep anyone from freaking out if they should recognize zucchini as an ingredient. Next the veggies had a quick sauté to just to caramelize a bit. To make it special, I substituted cheese tortellini for the small pasta usually included in Minestrone Soup. Yum! That took the recipe over the top. Plus it was so easy! My guys went back for seconds and then thirds. That was truly amazing. Minestrone rocks! Make this soon, the weather looks rainy and you can’t go wrong with a fantastic soup for dinner.

Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped  

1 zucchini, quartered and sliced

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1 stalk celery, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups vegetable broth

15 oz can cut Italian green beans, drained

15 oz can small white beans or great northern beans, drained

14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley (or dried if you don’t have fresh)

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt (remember to taste, salt in broth varies)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

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1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried thyme

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1½ cups water

1 package pre-washed baby spinach

16 oz package cheese tortellini (or 1 ½ cups dried pasta)

Optional: Parmesan or Asagio cheese for topping

Directions

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

Sauté onion, celery, garlic, carrots, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes until the onions begin to turn translucent.

Add vegetable broth to pot.

Add tomatoes, green beans, white beans, parsley, water, and spices.

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

Add spinach and pasta and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Serves 6

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