Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quick Minestrone Soup

Quick and Delicious Minestrone
Tonight I'm making a quick version of Minestrone soup for dinner. I know, it's not exactly tropical (well, I've been to some rather warm, seaside towns in Italy...) but it was so quick and easy to make, I thought I'd share. The silver lining is it's very healthy and can be completely vegetarian if you use vegetable stock or water. This isn't a recipe per say, just what I threw together with what I had to make an awesome soup :) The amounts aren't that important, just use what you have and measure according to how many people you are cooking for. It took me about 15 minutes to throw together and about 30 minutes to simmer. Serve with some earthy, whole grain bread. Using my amounts, you will have enough for about 4 servings or two servings with seconds.

Chicken broth, vegetable broth or water, enough to cover veggie by about three inches - about 32 ounces
Dried herbs - (about a tsp each) parsley, oregano, marjoram, basil, thyme and 1 bay leaf
Potato, skinned and diced (I used one red one)
Carrots, skinned and diced (I used two)
Celery, diced (I used about 1/2 cup chopped)
Onions, diced (I used 1/2 medium onion)
Garlic clove, minced (I used one)
Kidney beans, I used about 1/2 15 oz can)
Lima beans (I used frozen ones)\ (I used about 2/3 cup)
Green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces (I used frozen ones) or use zucchini (I didn't have any.)
(I used about 2/3 cup)
Canned or fresh chopped tomatoes, (I used about 2/3 cup)
Greens such as Kale, Swiss chard or Spinach, 1-2 cups, chopped (optional)
1-2 Tbsps tomato paste (I used 2 Tbsp)
Sugar, about 1/4  - 1/2 tsp
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese for garnish

Sauté onions, carrots and celery in a little olive oil. Sprinkle with dried herbs and salt and pepper. Add diced potatoes, garlic, and tomatoes. Stir to coat veggies and let simmer a minute or two. Add broth, tomato paste, sugar, kidney beans, lima beans and green beans. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed. Let simmer about 30 minutes or until veggies and lima beans are tender and cooked through.  Check occasionally; you may need to add more broth or water. Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired.

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