Soup making is one of my favorite kitchen activities (next to crock pot meals) as after prep work is done, the rest is fairly easy. There are countless minestrone recipes, this one was created with items already in the fridge, freezer or pantry. The recipe was adapted from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook, Mastering Soups & Stews.
Minestrone Soup (aka BIG Soup)
- 2-3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut up
- 2 stalks celery, cut up
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 6 C low-sodium beef broth
- 1 can (20 oz) peeled tomatoes
- 1 package spinach, frozen was in freezer
- 6 oz. green beans, frozen was also in freezer
- 1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 TBSP parsley
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher (or sea) salt
- 1/2 C orzo or any small pasta of your choice
- 1/2 C freshly ground cheese, Parmesan-Romano , etc.
- Add olive oil to large soup pot over medium-low heat. When oil heats up, add bacon and cook until it starts to shrivel. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic and stir to coat with oil. Cover and cook vegetables until soft, but not browned (about 15 minutes).
- Add broth and tomatoes, raise heat to medium and cook until large bubbles appear on surface. Stir in beans and herbs, salt and pepper. Stir to combine ingredients. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables soften.
- Add pasta and simmer gently, uncovered until pasta has cooked and soup has thickened, about 20 minutes. If soup is too thick add a little water. If too thin, raise heat and cook uncovered until liquid reduces and soup thickens.
- Adjust seasonings; add more salt and/or pepper as needed.