Hearty Minestrone Soup

Hearty Minestrone Soup

It’s January, the supposed “cool” season here in Philippines.  I say “supposed” because it’s actually not so cool this year… what’s up with that??  My family can attest that I easily feel cheated with the weather, most often in the circumstance of it being too hot when I’m expecting cold… or at least cool.  But come on, after living in a tropical climate for almost 12 years, don’t I deserve some temps under 80??

I know, I hate whining just as much as you do…

Hearty Minestrone Soup

So in honour of Theda’s 14th birthday today, I’ll stop complaining and look at the bright side as she always does.  I do have to  acknowledge that it is getting rather breezy at night, and evening breezes can put one in the mood for soup.  Everyone loves soup, right??  So thanks, Thedes… you are my inspiration in so many ways!!

A good basic minestrone should be in everyone’s hip pocket for soup recipes.  I adapted this one from The Joy of Cooking years ago when we still lived in the US.  I like it because it’s simple and doesn’t use too many ingredients.  It’s hearty enough to satisfy my appetite for dinner, yet light enough to qualify as “lunch food” for me as well.  I just love versatile recipes!

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Plus, it’s packed with good-for-you veggies like kale, cabbage, tomatoes & carrots, but doesn’t smack at all of the cabbage soup you’ll find on the “3-day Diet.”  Nope, this soup contains beans and pasta and every good thing to let you know you’re eating real, hearty, nutritious food that will fill you up in a healthy & completely satisfying way.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

You can easily make it gluten-free by subbing quinoa or brown rice for the pasta.  It’s already vegan as-is.  You might think that 8 cups of veggie broth is too much, but it’s not- the pasta (or other grain) soaks up a lot of this during the cooking process.   As always, if you totally adore another veggie in your minestrone, such as zucchini or French beans, feel free to add it.  Just make sure the pieces are uniform.  This soup takes just under half an hour to make, so if your kitchen is a bit… ahem… warmer than you would like, you certainly won’t be heating it up too much by making this soup.

Minestrone Soup

Enjoy the evening breezes wherever you are… and enjoy your bowl of hearty minestrone.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: About 10 cups

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, minced
  • ¼ cup (packed) fresh basil, chiffonade
  • ¼ cup (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chiffonade
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ small head green cabbage, chopped roughly
  • 6 leaves flat or curly kale, chopped
  • 1 t. dried rosemary
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. fresh black pepper
  • 1 (14-oz) can whole tomatoes
  • 1 (14-oz) can borlotti or pinto beans, drained
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup small-shape pasta (fusilli, shell, orzo, etc.)

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, & celery, and sauté 5 or so minutes until beginning to soften. Add herbs, garlic, cabbage, kale, rosemary, salt, & pepper. Cook and stir 3-5 more minutes or until vegetables begin to wilt.
  • Add tomatoes and break them up with the back of your cooking spoon. Then add beans and broth, turn up heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the pasta and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Serve hot or warm. Makes about 10 cups.
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