Sunday, December 12, 2010

Minestrone Soup

Since the high was below zero on this relaxing Sunday in the north, I decided I should make some soup.

I'm usually not a big fan of soup, as I've never found it very satisfying. Dillon and I went to the Olive Garden for the famous soup, salad, and breadsticks lunch the other day, and the minestrone really wowed me! 

So today I decided to try to make this heart soup at home! It was a huge success :)

Minestrone Soup inspired by The Olive Garden

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small minced white onion
1 zucchini, sliced
1 cup frozen cut Italian green beans
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cans (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained
2 cans (15 oz) great northern or small white beans, drained
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 carrot, chopped
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3-4 cups hot water
1 cup wine, any kind would work
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup small shell pasta

Prepare veggies, except the spinach, and add to stock pot, and sautée veggies in the olive oil for about 5 minutes.

Thanks for the awesome stock pot, Mom :)

Then add the liquids and spices.

Let bring to a boil, and then let simmer until the veggies begin to soften. I let it cook for a little over 2 hours before I added the pasta.

When you're about ready to eat, add the spinach and pasta.. and a little more wine if you'd like :)

I also added a bit of tomato paste because I had to add some additional liquids once I added the other ingredients. I think it helped enhance the flavor a bit.

Once the pasta is done, pour into a bowl and serve! I had mind with a piece of toasted Ezekiel bread to dip in the soup :)

Mmm, it was so hearty and delicious! Perfect for a chilly day.

And one of the best parts...


I love having meals for the week already made. It'll be nice to be able to just focus on getting through my last few exams instead of cooking this week.

This soup left me completely satisfied. The beans add a bunch of protein and fiber and the veggies give it a ton of nutrients and flavor. Simply delicious!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend; I know mine went by too fast! I can't wait to get through this week and get home to celebrate with my family.

Wishing you a productive and happy Monday,


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