I cook soups frequently. They are easy to make, easy to tweak, and hard to mess up.
Cooking Hint: I did NOT say soup is impossible to mess up. I have proven it is, in fact, possible. I have scorched chicken on the bottom of a pot before I even got started doing anything besides boiling a whole chicken. Words of wisdom, don’t be like me and try to salvage it. Throw it away! Or better yet, prevent a disaster before it happens and do not start anything on scorching high heat and walk away. See that tiniest bit of black stuff on the bottom of the meat? Do not even try to pick it off and rinse it off. That not-so-flavorful taste will permeate the entire dish.
Minestrone soup is a light meal that tastes best when fresh vegetables are used whenever possible. The recipe provided is just a base and can be changed up with in-season vegetables that you prefer. Sometimes I leave out the zucchini or beans, sometimes I add fresh baby spinach leaves. I’ve used yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, red kidney beans, and I’ve even used a cabbage wedge I had left over once. Experiment, see which vegetables you like the best.
You can even swap out chicken broth with vegetable broth to make this vegan friendly.
A thick slice of rustic bread is enough to complete this meal, as is a small salad. Serve with a grilled cheese for a heartier meal.
Vegetables and beans simmered in a tomato based broth.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 10 Servings
- Category: Soup
- Method: Simmering
- Cuisine: Italian
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large onion diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 8 stalks of celery sliced
- 1 large zucchini, or 2 medium, cut in half and sliced
- ½ pound fresh green beans, or 2 cans drained
- 28 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 cans cannellini beans ,UNDRAINED
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp Dried Basil or 1 Tablespoons fresh chopped
- 1 tsp Dried Oregano or 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped
- 1 cup small uncooked Pasta Shells
- Parmesan Cheese
- Swirl olive oil in a pan, sauté onions over medium heat until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook just until garlic is soft.
- Add the basil, oregano, and celery. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add carrots, tomato sauce and chicken broth.
- Simmer for about 30 minutes, longer is OK too.
- Add the green beans and cannellini beans, with the liquid, and simmer until the green beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the zucchini and pasta about 30 minutes before you want to eat. Simmer until pasta is tender. Or cook the pasta separate and put some into the bowl before serving.
- Sprinkle with grated or shredded Parmesan cheese.
Substitute Vegetable broth for a hearty vegetarian soup.
- Serving Size: 2 Cups
- Calories: 162
- Sugar: 8.2 g
- Sodium: 1146 mg
- Fat: 1.1 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 28.8 g
- Fiber: 6.7 g
- Protein: 9.5 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg