Last week, I found myself with an abundance of leftover fresh veggies – and a strong craving for something warm, hearty and filling! I also felt like several of my meals recently have been pretty high in animal fats, so I was hoping to come across a recipe that didn’t include any meat. (Before you start bashing that idea, try the Greek Pasta recipe – no meat, and still totally to-die-for!) While browsing through Allrecipes, I happened to find something called “Jamie’s Minestrone.” At first glance, the ingredient list looked long – then I realized that I already had half the vegetables on my counter! I knew this soup would be awesome from the minute I decided to try it out.
I’m pretty strict about my grocery budget, and this recipe really reiterates how cheap fresh produce actually is. I spent hardly anything on this meal – and it makes about 8 big bowls of soup! That is cost-efficient cooking, in my opinion 🙂 We ate this with plain garlic bread and it was very filling…one bowl and I’m stuffed!
Quick disclaimer – the reviews of this recipe online are full of creative things to include in this soup – you should by no means feel limited to only include what is here! Some people added yellow squash, red potatoes, different beans, italian crushed tomatoes, etc. The original recipe here actually calls for red wine, cabbage and spinach to be added. Here’s to a season full of delicious soups….enjoy!
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
2 cups chicken broth*
2 cups water*
28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained
large zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Ditalini pasta (small macaroni shells if you can’t find Ditalini)
*Note – I used 4 cups water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes
1. In a large pan (your entire soup will go in this pan!,) saute onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Remove from pan and set aside. Add carrot, celery and zucchini to pan. Saute for 5-6 minutes.
2. Add chicken broth, water and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes.
3. In separate pan, cook Ditalini as instructed on package. Drain well.
4. To serve, place a small amount of pasta in bowl, and ladle soup over pasta. (note – do not add cooked pasta directly to soup; if you have leftovers, the pasta gets very soggy in the soup.)