Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homemade Minestrone!

I thought I'd try something new--posting a recipe with photos. I definitely need some food photo shooting tips. There's a shadow from my overhead lights and I'm thinking maybe a few less photos might be better, but we'll see. Tell me what you think. But I do promise that the minestrone will be fabulous!

This is what you'll need............(recipe posted below) You won't be using quite all of everything.

Heat 3 Tblsp olive oil and add some onion, celery, garlic, and zucchini and green beans--I like to use frozen green beans, so they don't get overcooked and they have a nicer texture and flavor then the canned ones do.......

Let it all saute for about 5 minutes or until the onion is nice and translucent......

Then we'll add in the vegetable broth. I do use only vegetable broth and not chicken broth. It makes a big difference in the taste and in this one I don't care for the chicken broth flavor. Add in the water, carrots--I like to grate mine, but you can slice them up too if you prefer, beans--make sure to rinse and drain them, the drained whole tomatoes (I drain them and after chopping them I do NOT drain again)--you can use canned diced tomatoes, but I prefer the whole, which I cut up while in the can with my kitchen shears. I don't care for the texture of the canned diced tomatoes. I've heard that the whole tomatoes have a higher standard they have to pass, because they are whole, so maybe that has something to do with it--their quality. Add in the spices too.

For the spices I like to add in a pizza spice that I get at Winco in the bulk foods section, so if you can't get a dry pizza spice, just add a bit more basil, oregano, some garlic powder and a tad of crushed red pepper. Also I prefer to use kosher salt for my soups. Don't ask me why. It just tastes better and Martha does it and Martha is always right.

I also add in about a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to help cut the acidic flavor of the tomatoes. When I remember I'll add it to them while they're still in the can and stir it in, otherwise I just toss it in when I do the spices.

Let it simmer for 20 minutes..........

Add in the spinach--I use about a 1/3 of a 10 oz block of frozen spinach and a couple of handfuls of small to medium size shell macaroni. Simmer for another 20 minutes..........

And you'll end up with a delicious--better than Olive Garden--minestrone soup! Top it off with a bit of parmesan cheese or even romano or asiago. Delish!

Not only is it healthy, because it's low in fat, high in fiber and low glycemic, but since this one is meatless it helps save a bit on the budget and it makes a huge pot! I've never measured, but well over a gallon of soup, so depending on your family size and how hungry they are you might get a couple of meals out of it.

Serve it with a good garden salad and a loaf of hearty bread-preferably homemade.

Now don't go by my photos, since they aren't the best. Just make the soup and you'll be glad you did. I promise!

Homemade Minestrone Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 cup frozen green beans
3 ribs celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3- 14.5 oz (or close to it) cans of vegetable broth
1-15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1-15 oz can great northern (or small white/navy) beans, rinsed & drained
1-28 oz can whole tomatoes, drained & chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon sugar, s
1 heaping teaspoon dried orgeano
1 heaping teaspoon dried basil
1 heaping teaspoon dried pizza seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
black pepper to taste
1 cup hot water
1/3 of a 10 oz block of frozen, chopped spinach
3/4 of small or medium sized shell macaroni

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil. Add the onion, celery, garlic, green beans and zucchini and saute approx. 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.

Add in the vegetable broth, water, tomatoes, carrots, beans, sugar and spices. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Add the spinach and macaroni shells, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!


Christine said...

Looks sooo good, Cathy!!!! Thanks for sharing!

Truckin.Diva said...

Yummy but no beans please! You need to give this receipe to your mother. By the way...don't dis Olive Garden. I love the potatoe soup they have. What a great deal soup and salad at Olive Garden!

Kathy said...

Looks delicious! Your photos make me want to make it for next weekend.

Jilly said...

Too much yummy and delicious dish you make. My grandmother likes to make blackberry jam, blackberry cobbler, blackberry lemonade, and many more recipes of blackberry.
anti fatigue floor mats