When I was doing a Huff Post Live segment with Emeril Lagasse, (which you can watch by clicking HERE) he was talking about minestrone soup. Well, that was all my pregnant self needed to hear and I was like, "Must. Make. Minestrone!" This worked out well because as you all know I have a canning and preserving habit...so it was the perfect way for me to use up tomatoes, frozen green beans, and frozen shredded zucchini! I also threw in some kale that came FRESH from my neighbor's garden!
I may be going a little overboard here, but there is just moment in there where I am using all those preserved/frozen/homegrown food items and I just feel so happy. This is the way food is meant to be experienced, right?! I feel empowered.
Another word on this soup: to me, it is the ultimate Italian vegetable soup. It's got everything you could possibly want in a soup. And I've been eating it for days while doing the internal happy dance. I hope that it makes you feel the same way.
Billie's Minestrone Soup
Time: 1 hour (ish) | Makes: One big old pot | Difficulty: Easy!
You Will Need:
Glug of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 quart crushed tomatoes
a "heavy" cup of frozen, sliced green beans
a "heavy" cup of frozen, shredded zucchini (or 1 fresh zucchini, diced)
4 cups chicken broth (plus more for thinning)
1-15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
1-15 ounce can kidney beans, drained
a few dashes of cayenne (optional)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 leaves of kale, torn or chopped small
1 cup dintalini pasta (you can also use elbow pasta)
salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot pour your glug of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add your garlic, onion, celery and carrot to the pot. Allow those to cook and sauté about 5-7 minutes.
Add your tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, chicken broth, beans, and spices to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Allow it to cook for 30 or so minutes (in reality, you can let it cook as long as you want, really, but 30 minutes will totally do it!)
Add your dintalini and kale and cook about 10-12 minutes or until pasta is done.
Add water and broth to thin the soup back out if the pasta has absorbed some of the broth. I used about a cup extra of broth and a cup extra of water.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a salad and a big old piece of crusty bread for dipping!!! YUM!