Monday, September 1, 2014

Recipe: Minestrone Vegetable Soup

It's Labor Day here and I have the urge to make some soup for fall. The boys start school this week and I'm trying to pack my freezer with easy meals to thaw/reheat.

This veggie soup is pretty hearty but I wouldn't call it a stew. My advice is to make it exactly as planned and then if you feel it needs more salt, heap on the parmesan cheese for the extra calories and sodium.

Minestrone Vegetable Soup

Note this recipe halves nicely but I make the full amount and freeze it for the fall.

8 cups chicken broth (2 quarts)
2 cans of cannellini beans (or kidney beans if you prefer)
3-4 carrots (1 cup chopped)
2 stalks celery (½ cup chopped)
1 white onion (1 cup minced)
2 large potatoes (3 cups cubed)
2 cans of petite diced tomatoes (we prefer the Italian spiced ones)
8 tbsp butter
1 cup frozen spinach
1 can tomato paste
4 cloves garlic (I used the pre-minced kind and measure it by the instructions on the jar)
4 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp beef bouillon paste (for that beefy minestrone taste)
1 ½ cups ditalini pasta (can sub in elbow, shell or other small macaroni)
½ to 1 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese for topping

 In a large pot, saute butter, onion, celery, carrots. Then add all other ingredients except the pasta and cheese. Bring pot to boil and simmer for 1 hour. Then add the pasta and simmer for another 20 minutes. Serve with parmesan cheese on top.

Freezing tip: Coat the inside of the container with olive oil before adding the soup, it will prevent your freezer container from permanent stains.

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