HEARTY MINESTRONE SOUP
Author: Lauren Lane
Nothing is better on a crisp Fall day like a bowl of soup…and this Hearty and healthy Minestrone is my one of my favs! Lots of veggies, rich broth, some tiny little pasta shells, and there you have. A perfect hug in a bowl.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Olive Tree Blend olive oil preferred)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons basil, dried
- 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can white kidney (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-2 Parmesan rinds (optional)
- 7-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup small pasta soup shells, uncooked
- 4 large handfuls of spinach or kale, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (optional but delish)
- Italian crusty bread loaf for serving
- Preheat a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on low-medium heat. Swirl olive oil in the bottom of pan to coat.
- Add onion, celery and garlic-sauté until tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add the next 11 ingredients and stir. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook on low for 30-45 minutes. Add pasta and cook for additional
- 8 minutes. Remove the parmesan rinds if using.
- Remove from heat. Scoop 2 cups of soup from the bottom of the
- pot and blend until smooth. Return blended soup to the pot. This
- will make the whole pot of soup creamy. Skip this step for a
- non-creamy soup. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and place it in into the whole pot and blend briefly.
- Add spinach or kale, parsley and basil. Adjust seasoning to taste-it will likely need more salt.
- Serve hot with shredded Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and crunchy bread
- Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
- If you want to make a double batch to freeze for later, don't add the pasta before freezing. Add it after you reheat it.
- Substitute any types of beans you like.
- To serve this soup for easy entertaining, make the soup the day before and reheat it before your guests arrive.
Serve with a simple green salad, and crusty bread, and don’t forget a lovely bottle of wine.
- Buy a simple dessert and this is a great and inexpensive way to have dinner with friends.