Sunday, August 19, 2012

Minestrone with Spring Vegetables

I love to make soup on Sundays, it's great to take for lunches all week! I gave this one a try this week, it was delicious! I would definitely make it again but might cut it in half. Michael is not a big soup eater (other than his favorite Black Bean and Lentil Soup), so I ended up with way more leftovers than I could eat!

I found this recipe in Runner's World a couple of months ago and decided to give it a try even though we're well into summer. :) Like most of the soup recipes I like, it is a great base recipe, very easy to play around the ingredients.

2 quarts good-quality vegetable broth
1 14.5-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into small dice
1 celery stalk, cut into small dice (I skipped this, don't like celery)
1 peeled carrot, cut into small dice
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) small white beans, not drained (I used one can of cannellini beans, one of chickpeas)
8 ounces frozen green peas
8 ounces coarsely chopped escarole (I used spinach because that is what I had)
1 cup ditalini (or any bite-size pasta) (I used orzo)
Sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper

Microwave broth and tomatoes together on high until steaming (5 minutes). (I actually skipped this step and just heated them both in the bot when the recipe called to add them, I didn't see the point in dirtying up another bowl.)

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onions, celery, and carrots; saute till tender (5 minutes). Add Italian seasonings and red pepper; saute until fragrant (one minute).

Add broth mixture and remaining ingredients; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and pasta is tender (15 minutes). (I actually waited until the pasta was almost done to add the peas and spinach, I didn't want them to get overcooked.) Serves eight.

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