A wonderful soup to master, and eat everyday in cooler weather.
A meal in a bowl! Hearty and Healthy.
I’m at my happiest when farmers’ markets are jammed with local, just-picked produce. I savor the excitement of visiting each farmer’s collection of firm, colorful offerings. In fall, without much frost, summer has given way to a new array of pickings.
All these veggies were bought at my local market – and you can taste the freshness in the flavor and texture of the soup.
My favorite vegetables for the Minestrone, and the ones in this recipe are: onions, leeks, celery, celery root, heirloom carrots, heirloom zucchini, green and waxed beans and San Marzano tomatoes. I have used garbanzo beans, which I soak overnight (I have a problem with beans – ugh!) which add some protein and depth – although please use beans here if you like.
Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans, would be a wonderful addition, they have a nutty flavor and very creamy texture.
The technique starts with a quick sauté of the firmer veggies – the ones that can stand the longest cooking without sacrificing their texture. Tomatoes and flavorings are stirred in (garlic and seasonings) and toasted in the oil. Beans are added with the reserved tomato juice and broth (chicken or vegetable.) The soup then will simmer to engage all the flavors.
Lastly, the dry pasta and green beans are added, and stirred while simmering until al dente – the pasta will thicken the soup, and the beans will not lose their lovely color. The addition of Quinoa pasta make this soup Gluten-Free.
Two soups which I believe the home-cook should master are – the Chicken Noodle Soup, and a Classic Minestrone.
These techniques will allow you to tackle other soups, such as chowders and bisques.
My Minestrone is brimming with antioxidant goodness. The perfect soup for an everyday lunch, snack or addition to many entrées. I can eat this soup everyday! And -by doubling the recipe you can have enough to freeze and enjoy your efforts in weeks to come.
Serving suggestions are in the recipe – I love to top the soup with fresh herbs and a floating drizzle of the best extra virgin olive oil. Parmesan shavings and a dollop of pesto are welcome too!
Here’s to a hearty & healthy meal in a bowl!