Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Minestrone Soup-Vegetarian

With all of the Super Bowl food and Valentine baking, we needed some "souper" food. We love soup, and eat a lot it, especially during the winter.  Now even though we are having a mild winter, compared to previous years, it is still damp and chilly.  There's nothing like a bowl of soup to warm your body and soul. I am always looking for new recipes, and when I saw this Minestrone Soup on  Gina's blog  SP CookieQueen,  I knew that we had to make this one. Actually, Scott made this, when I was out running errands.

Now, if you click on Gina's link, Scott's looks somewhat different.  I had ditalini in a bag, but he couldn't find it in the pantry, so he used broken linguine. Does that tell you that we have a lot of pasta, or that he is man?  Because, he used a larger sized pasta, the pasta may have soaked up some of the soup, even though he cooked the pasta first. So Scott added a can of diced tomatoes, which helped make more soup. Also, I didn't have any vegetable stock, so the "chef", made his own.  I shouldn't tease him, right,  he made this wonderful soup This soup was so good and healthy, with all of the zucchini, carrots, celery, tomatoes, beans, and spinach. Scott would never eat cooked spinach, because it was "slimy", but he loves it in this soup. Unfortunately, I didn't have any San Marzano tomatoes in my pantry. This recipe  makes a lot, so you can have some for dinner and  lunches, or freeze for later.We will definitely be making this again. Enjoy!

Minestrone  Adapted from from  Gina, SP Cookie Queen

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
32 ounces vegetable broth, or **home made vegetable  stock
1 quart whole tomatoes, crushed or 28 ounces crushed tomatoes (canned)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
2-3 teaspoons salt or more if needed
Freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 - 15 ounce can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 zucchini, sliced
8 ounces cooked ditalini pasta  (Scott used broken linguine, cooked)
2 cups spinach or Swiss chard (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Add the olive oil and onion to a heavy stockpot and turn heat on medium.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are starting to soften and getting some color.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring.  Add the carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock** and be sure and to stir the bottom to get the color up from the bottom of the pan.  Add the crushed tomatoes.  Add the thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaves and let the soup come to a boil on medium heat, cook for 15 minutes.

Add the beans, zucchini, and pasta also the greens if you are going to use them, cook five minutes.  Remove bay leaves. Serve with cheese, if desired.

Scott only made half of this recipe, because the recipe only called for 1 qt. of vegetable stock. Because he needed more liquid, he had to add a 14 oz can tomatoes.  I recomend that you make the full recipe, and what you don't use, can be frozen for a later time

**Basic Vegetable Stock  Adapted from Allrecipes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion
2 stalks celery, including some leaves
2 large carrots
2 1 bunch green onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
8 sprigs fresh parsley
1tsp Italian herbs
1tsp Herbes de Provence
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 quarts water

1. Chop scrubbed vegetables into 1-inch chunks. Remember, the greater the surface area, the more quickly vegetables will yield their flavor

. 2. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, scallions, garlic, parsley, herbs, and bay leaves. Cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently
3.Add salt. if used, and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain. Discard vegetables.


  1. Scott must have really been craving this soup to go to the trouble of making his own stock! However, I am sure the effort paid off in the end. I love minestrone, but have yet to make a homemade version. This post is inspiring and the soup looks fantastic!

    1. Yes, he really wanted soup. This minestrone is so good, especially with all of the veggies and herbs. If you make it, let me know how you like it.

  2. Gina has the best recipes...and so do you! Our weather is taking another turn downward, as I imagine yours is, too...perfect soup weather :)

    1. Lizzy,
      Thank you for your kind words. This soup is so good with all of the veggies and pasta. Perfect for soup weather.

  3. Hey there Miss Becky, Scott is trying to give me a run for my money isn't he. I like the ditalini, but you can use whatever small shape of pasta you want. Sometimes if I want a little more broth, I'll just add a bit of water. It's been kind of icky here too. Tell Scott he did a great job on it, your lucky he gets in the kitchen and helps.

    1. Oh Miss Gina, he might be trying to give you a run for your money with taste, but never with the pics:) I had ditalini in the pantry, but he couldn't find it:) I am very lucky that he likes to cook. We share the cooking 50-50 and I mostly do the baking. He's a keeper.

  4. You can never have too many soup recipes. This one looks like a winner!

    1. Beth,
      You are so right about too many soup recipes. Hope that you like this one.

  5. one of my favorite soups. Just lovely photo too great job!

    1. Claudia,
      Thanks! this soup is now one of our favorites, too.

  6. That looks so hearty (hearts on the brain right now, eh?) Becky. Delicious recipe from Gina and that Scott of yours is definitely a sweetheart to make it for you! Enjoy your weekend. j xo

  7. We just got a big cold snap here and this would be perfect for dinner tonight. Looks fantastic!


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