Brisk Winds Call for Big Soup
Minestrone is Italian for “big soup,” so it’s no surprise that this thick mélange of seasonal vegetables not only originated there but is the most popular soup in Italy. Usually made out of whatever vegetables are fresh for picking from the garden, minestrone most often contains onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, beans and broth. The other ingredients are yours to choose, depending on what you like and what is available.
With herbaceous notes from bay leaves, basil, oregano and thyme, plus extra filling from pasta and potatoes, minestrone can serve as a starter but is certainly hearty enough to be the main course, especially accompanied by crusty Italian bread. And greens added towards the end of cooking make this dish extra nutritious too.
So, make a big pot full of “big soup,” and just like being at Olive Garden, you’ll have a nearly bottomless bowl of this comforting and delicious-enough-to-enjoy-everyday Italian classic.
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 large organic sweet or perfect sweet onion, diced
2 celery stalks, in small slices
¾ cup organic cut sweet baby carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups vegetable broth
1-28 ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 3/4 cups Gemstone®, Fingerling Medley, or Baby Dutch Yellow® potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 ½ cups Romano beans, cut into ½” pieces
1–8-ounce box salad macaroni, or another small pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 package steamed garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 3/4 cups kale sprouts
Nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan (optional)
Heat the 2 ½ tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
Add the broth, crushed tomatoes, herbs, potatoes and Romano beans and bring to a boil.
Add the pasta and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low-medium for about 7-8 minutes until the potatoes and beans are tender and the pasta is cooked. Stir in the 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and then season to taste with salt & pepper.
Add in the garbanzo beans and kale sprouts until the beans are heated thru and the kale is wilted. Season again if necessary.
Ladle the minestrone into bowls, and sprinkle with cheesy-tasting nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan (optional).