Friday, August 13, 2010

Minestrone soup

Soup might not be something you think about too much in the middle of summer, but I love it any time of year. Not only is soup delicious, but its a fabulous way to feed your family both an inexpensive and healthy meal. This version of minestrone is a lighter stock based soup rather than the tomato based that you may be used to. I prefer the lighter broth version for summer, the tomato based type tends to be heavier and more chili like, in this Witches' opinion.

All of the veggies in this soup, except the zucchini and the can of beans, came from the farmers market. The zucchini came from my garden, the can of beans came from the store. There's no real method or reason behind the vegetation I used in this soup,, nothing screams MINESTRONE!; I simply used what was available from the market and garden and relied on oregano and thyme to flavor the base. There's just something about the way the heady scent of oregano perfumes the broth and weaves the flavors of the veggies together. Potatoes might not be traditional to minestrone, but I had them, and enjoy them more in soup than pasta. Pasta tends to get too swollen and over cooked while the baby gold potatoes stay firm yet creamy.

When topped with the pungent flavor of Asiago or Parmesan cheese its pure heaven in a bowl. Add a bit of homemade bread for dipping and dinner's on. Summertime is the perfect time for a bowl of goodness, especially when its as delicious as this minestrone is. Enjoy!

Minestrone soup
makes 8 large servings
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced (2.5 cups)
2 carrots diced
1 onion diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bell pepper diced
1 zucchini diced
1 can cannelloni beans (white kidney beans), drained & rinsed
10 cups chicken stock
1/2 c white wine
4 sprigs each thyme and oregano
1 T olive oil
kosher salt and pepper

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, put in an ice bath immediately to stop cooking and loosen skins. Peel skins and dice tomatoes. Reserve.

Dice all veggies, drain & rinse the beans. Bundle the herbs together & tie together for easy removal.

Heat a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the oil, once hot sautee the carrots, onions and bell pepper, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring often, and cook another 5 minutes or until the raw sharp garlic smell cooks out and it starts to take on a nice toasty aroma.

Add the chicken stock, stirring up any veg that may be sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper along with the herb bundle and remaining veggies and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the herb bundle before serving. Taste for season adding more salt & pepper if needed. Serve with fresh Parmesan cheese and bread.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 113.7
Total Fat 3.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 1,474.2 mg
Potassium 497.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 1.7 g
Protein 5.2 g


Jenn said...

I love a good minestrone soup...though I will say, I have never had it with a lighter base. I can definitely see how it would be better for a summer soup. I just might have to give this one a shot, it looks so delicious!

Yenta Mary said...

This would be a perfect summer dish with all the garden and farmers' market goodies ... :)

StephenC said...

Lovely soup. If I could get enough tomatoes to ripen all at once I'd make it.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I agree with you. This does look and sound like heaven in a bowl. And I for one wish I had eaten a little more soup this summer;)

Raina said...

I love soup anytime too. Yours looks so delicous. This is my favorite type of soup. I love the veggies you used. I am looking forward to making this:)

tasteofbeirut said...

What a wonderful idea! My mom requested soup a couple nights ago, in an attempt to soothe her stomach and I did not think of minestrone. Perfect as we have all the veggies for it.

Ananda Rajashekar said...

sounds like great summer soup....topped with Parmesan cheese, can't wait to try ur recipe...Loved ur first pic :)

Sweet and Savory said...

I came here to find a soup for my husband who loves hot soups in the cold winter and thank you, here it is. I knew you would come through.

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