Minestrone

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Minestrone
Minestrone is an Italian soup made mostly with vegetables, stock, beans, and pasta. This is a lifesaver for vegetarians eating out, especially if you don't do eggs - most restaurants make it with vegetable stock, but I always check to make sure it is not made with meat stock. The soup is hearty, and very satisfying on a cold and blustery night. And it comes together beautifully with not much effort in about 30-45 minutes.
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35-45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can Tomatoes I used a 15-oz can for this quantity
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 handful chopped jicama
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 11/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 handful Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas Sub with any beans of your choice
  • 1/4 cup dry pasta Short pastas such as penne is good; avoid long ones such as spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese optional; adds wonderful flavor and richness
  • 3-4 medium garlic cloves, minced
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35-45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 can Tomatoes I used a 15-oz can for this quantity
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 handful chopped jicama
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 11/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 handful Fresh Basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas Sub with any beans of your choice
  • 1/4 cup dry pasta Short pastas such as penne is good; avoid long ones such as spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese optional; adds wonderful flavor and richness
  • 3-4 medium garlic cloves, minced
Instructions
  1. Dice the onions, carrots, zucchini, jicama, and any other vegetables after peeling those that need peeling
  2. Heat oil in a dutch oven/heavy pot
  3. Add onions, garlic and a pinch of salt for the onions and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes
  4. Add the vegetables that take the longest to cook such as carrots, jicama, eggplant if using, oregano, black pepper and cook covered over low heat for about 10 minutes
  5. Add the quick cooking vegetables such as bell pepper if using, zucchini, basil, and the tomato. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes
  6. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes
  7. If you're using pasta, add it now and cook until pasta is of desired texture
  8. Add more basil - one can never have enough basil
  9. Serve piping hot, topped with parmesan if using and a crusty bread;
Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook which has beautiful illustrations, and is my go to book for amazing vegetarian soups.

This soup is so much better when you make it at home, and tastes even better the next day.

Make it vegan by passing on the parmesan or by using vegan cheese.

Variations:

  • I had carrots, zucchini, and jicama handy and that's what I used. Other popular vegetables for a good minestrone are eggplant, green peppers, yellow squash, celery.
  • I used canned garbanzo (after rinsing and draining). If using dry beans, make sure to soak and cook them. Other beans may be substituted.

 

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