Minestrone

After traveling home from Christmas with family, we were ready for some healthy comfort food. Minestrone has tons of vegetables, plus is great on a chilly evening.

I started off the soup by making a mirepoix with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.

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After the vegetables had softened and slightly caramelized, I added some tomato powder and basil, followed by lots of veggie broth, diced tomato, and navy beans.

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While the soup was coming up to a simmer, I cooked some whole wheat spirally elbow pasta to serve with the soup. I’ve learned it is definitely better to keep the pasta and soup separate until you are almost ready to serve, otherwise you end up with pasta that has absorbed all of the soup broth, and a very thick soup!

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When the pasta was almost done, I added some chopped zucchini and parsley and let the zucchini cook for a few minutes.

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Finally, the soup was ready to be ladled over the pasta. To serve, I sprinkled a little more parsley, freshly ground pepper, and good Italian olive oil on top. Yum!

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Minestrone

1 onion, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 celery stalks, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 zucchini, diced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
4-5 cups veggie stock or water
1 Tbsp tomato powder (use tomato paste if you can’t find tomato powder)
1 Tbsp basil
1 can (15 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) navy beans, drained and rinsed
8 ounces elbow pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Heat about 3 Tbsp of olive oil at medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and a little bit of salt (maybe 1 tsp). Cook for at least 20 minutes until the onions are very soft and slightly browned. Add the celery, carrots, and garlic, along with another dash of salt. Cook until all the vegetables are very soft, then add the tomato powder and basil and cook for a few more minutes.

Add the vegetable stock or water, along with the diced tomatoes and beans. Cover and bring to a low simmer, then cook for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. About 6 minutes before the pasta is done cooking, add the zucchini and about 1/2 the parsley to the soup.

Once the pasta is done, put a little bit in a bowl and spoon the soup on top. Sprinkle a little more chopped parsley and drizzle olive oil on top. Serve with crusty bread and topped with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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