Minestrone Soup

Minestrone garnished with fresh rosemary and lemon zest

It’s been raining for a few days. Cool fall day and prefect to make soup when outdoor activities are not possible. Sunday afternoons I love to rest, read, and cook. Soup is my favorite. All kinds of soup. I love the warm comfy feeling of soup. Using fall vegetables make this minestrone even better. I’m always making substitutions for allergies or what I have on hand. For example a traditional minestrone uses zucchini and white potatoes. Because I had a half green- half yellow zucchini/squash I was not sure what it would look like. And with no white potatoes I swapped out a sweet potato. You really can add any vegetables you like taking note of how long it might take to cook them starting with onions, carrots, root vegetables then adding green beans and fresh spinach towards the end. I like a thick hearty soup. You could always add more broth or water if you prefer more liquid.

Use what you have. No need for a trip to the store.

INGREDIENTS:

β€’ 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

β€’ 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

β€’ 2 medium carrots, chopped

β€’ 2 medium ribs celery, chopped

β€’ 1 medium sweet potato cubes ( could use medium white potato)

β€’ 2 zucchini squash sliced & quartered into chunks ( could use yellow squash)

β€’ 1 butternut squash peeled and cubed ( this how to is great)

β€’ 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

β€’ 1 teaspoon dried oregano

β€’ 1 teaspoon dried thyme

β€’ 1 large can (28 ounces) tomatoes, do not drain

β€’ 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth

β€’ 2 teaspoons sea salt

β€’ 3 bay leaves

β€’ Pinch of red pepper flakes

β€’ Freshly ground black pepper

β€’ 2 cups small elbow macaroni ( I used gluten-free)

β€’ 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans rinsed and drained ( or a can of small white beans)

β€’ 2 handfuls of baby spinach

GARNISH:

β€’ Grated lemon zest

β€’ Fresh rosemary

β€’ Freshly grated pecorino if not vegan or have a dairy allergy

Prepped vegetables. You can always use frozen to save time. Equally as nutritious.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chop onions, carrots, celery, garlic

2. Cube potatoes and butternut squash

3. Slice and quarter zucchini squash

4. SautΓ© prepared vegetables in olive oil with an extra pinch of salt

5. Cover and allow the vegetables to release their own liquid

6. Cook 15 minutes stirring often

7. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, and seasonings

8. Cook 15 additional minutes stirring often

9. Prepare macaroni as package directions.

10. Drain and rinse cannellini beans

11. Add cooked macaroni, drained cannellini beans, and spinach

12. Cook final 15 minutes stirring often

13. Serve with crusty bread or cheese toast and garnish with lemon zest, fresh rosemary, and pecorino if able.

It smells as good as it looks!

Scott prefers a crusty baguette while Shelton likes vegan cheese toast. As a child if you found the bay leave in your soup or spaghetti sauce it was a prize. For this reason I do not remove bay leaves in mine before serving. They are the little prizes from me.

Enjoy!

πŸ’—,

Julie

Delicious β€’ thick β€’ yummy

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