Minestrone Soup is one of those delicious hearty soups that whether you make it vegetarian or with meat, it is plentiful and satisfying. Minestrone is an Italian soup that generally includes beans, whatever vegetables are in season at the time, sometimes meat and often small noodles or even rice. This makes minestrone an easy dish to make when you have allot of veggies in the crisper, pantry or even canned in the cupboard that you want to use up. With the addition of tomatoes and a few Italian herbs, you have a satisfying and substantial dish. Pair it with your favorite bread and salad, and you have a complete meal.
Though you can use any veggies on hand, the two main ingredients you do want to use are kidney or white beans and tomatoes. From there you can add whatever your heart desires and create your own simmering masterpiece. I literally used just what I had on hand, but some other suggestions would be green beans, squash or zucchini, and broccoli or cauliflower. Just saute them along with your trinity mixture until they are tender. Keep in mind that if you have allot of veggies you might need to add a little more oil.
Fact: When celery, carrots and onions are used together in a dish they are often referred to as the trinity or a mirepoix this term originated in french cooking.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes
Makes 6 servings
1 cup finely chopped shallot or red onion
1 cup baby carrots - cut into even bite sized pieces
1 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic - finely minced
1 tbs olive oil
2 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans
2 15.5 oz cans kidney beans
4 cups vegetable broth
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 whole bay leaf
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground red pepper or ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp each thyme, oregano, and basil
½ tsp rosemary
1-2 tbs balsamic vinegar – optional
Toppings – Optional
Grated Parmesan, fresh basil, herb scented oil
In a large soup pot on medium heat, saute carrots, shallots and celery until mostly tender - the veggies should still have a little crunch left to them. Add garlic and saute 1 minute then add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and all seasonings – turn heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and add the beans, stir and cover with a lid. Simmer another 20 minutes remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Serve on its own or with bread and a salad for a full meal. Enjoy!