Hearty Minestrone Soup
I find through the cold month of February, I tend to look to old favourite soups. They warm the tummy and the soul. It always is a good feeling when you feed yourself and your family healthily. Minestrone is one of those soups where you can change up easily to what you have on hand in your pantry or fridge. Shhhh….don’t tell anyone it’s also an easy vegan dish too.
Most of my soups start with a basic Mirepoix; carrots, celery and onion. This recipe makes a goodly amount in a dutch oven size pot, filled to the top (approx. 2 ½ litres). To speed up the cooking time, have a kettle of boiled water ready at hand. So much quicker to boil than adding cold tap water.
Add to your pot the following:
Mirepoix – diced
2 large carrots
2 celery stalks
1 medium onion
Saute the onion until caramelized. Add the diced carrots and celery. Saute until the celery is starting to become transparent.
Add to the Mirepoix:
1 large potato, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 cup green beans, diced
½ head broccoli, diced
½ can beans (kidney/chickpea, etc; approx. 250ml)
½ can ground tomatoes ( approx. 398ml)
½ cup of your favorite pasta
2-3 bay leaves
Take your kettle boiled water and add it to the pot to cover the vegetables. Bring these to a boil and cook until the vegetables are just tender and the pasta has cooked through.
Add your seasonings.
½ tsp garlic powder (or add 1 clove fresh)
½ tsp basil
½ - 1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1-2 tsp salt (optional)
Season to your taste. The above is a good place to start.
Pre-boiling cuts down the time to about 20-30 minutes to make, from beginning to end.
I had mushrooms and rapini at hand needing to be used up. I added these in too. Inevitably, we always make too much pasta. Throw in a cup or two of your leftover pasta at the very end of cooking, omitting adding the dry.
It’s fast to make and so healthy to eat. Yeah! Enough left for a couple of lunches at work too.
by Angela Moisey of Heartleaf Design