The heatwave continues. Fans are on, shorts and tank tops are our chosen attire. Big jars of lemonade (because everything is better in a mason jar), and crisp salads for lunch. Yet it is October. And we want SOUP! Mother nature may be all over the place, but our bodies are ready for Fall, and sometimes you just have to go with your gut- and our guts want Minestrone!
Minestrone is a cold weather essential, but it is great any time of year. This is a very hearty, stick-to-your-bones soup. It is loaded with veggies, and is perfect when trying to use up all those farmers market finds that you have hanging around your fridge. You can use any vegetables you prefer, or whatever you have on hand. It is also the ideal place to use all the random bits of dried pasta taking up space in your cabinets. You can break up larger noodles, or use a variety of shapes and sizes.
This recipe makes a very large pot, but it keeps very well. As a matter of fact, it gets even more flavorful after a day or two. Be aware that leftovers get very thick as the noodles soak up the rich broth, but adding some extra vegetable stock and some salt and pepper to taste gives you a whole new soup! It also freezes well, so if you are cooking for 1-2 people, you can easily store this in a ziploc or tupperware and have it around for a quick and hearty rainy-day meal. Just don’t be surprised if there are fewer leftovers than expected- it is just THAT good.
Servings 5 | Serving size 2 cups
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 c carrot, chopped (cut baby carrots into thirds)
- 1 c celery, chopped
- 1 lb russet potato, chopped (washed and peel left on)
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 c chopped cabbage
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 4 cups water
- 1 15oz can organic tomato sauce
- 2 TB tomato paste
- can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 c dry whole wheat pasta (I used spirals)
- 2 c kale, chopped and packed in cup
- 1 TB red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp himalayan pink sea salt
- pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat and add onions and garlic. Stir and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Then add carrots, and celery and cook another 5 minutes, until celery becomes tender.
- Add in vegetable stock, water, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir until combined.
- Next add the remaining ingredients except kale: potatoes, zucchini and cabbage, kidney beans, pasta, vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender and pasta is cooked.
- When finished stir in chopped kale and serve.
NOTE: Great served with toasted whole wheat bread with olive oil and rubbed with garlic