WOYP Day #68 Quick & Easy Minestrone


We’ve had cooler days and a lot of rain these past couple of weeks and I feel Fall is coming too early! This year sees to have whooshed by.. can’t believe we are already halfway through September!!

It was pouring cats and dogs all day today and all I could think of was Soup!! My first choice was this Tomato soup but then I began to crave something more filling and hearty…in comes a family fav.. Minestrone! This is my only soup of choice whenever I visit Olive Garden.

I couldn’t thank my stars enough for making me pick up Zucchini & Spinach on my grocery run yesterday, Minestrone today was meant to be haha! And I’m always stocked on canned beans so this was easy peasy. You also get a fair share of veggies and carbs, all in one big comforting bowl...yumm!

You will need:

2 tbsp Olive oil (I use extra-virgin)
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 Red onion, chopped (can use yellow or white onion)
1/2 cup Green beans, cut into 1” pieces (or smaller)
1 (8oz) can Red Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 large Roma tomatoes, cubed
2 large handfuls of fresh spinach, washed
1/2 cup Zucchini, cut into thin discs
1/2 cup Macaroni pasta (or any small pasta)
Salt to taste
1 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Black pepper
Water as needed (or Vegetable stock if available)

Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Usually the pasta is cooked along with the rest of the ingredients but to speed things up I had the pasta cooking on one burner while I sautéed veggies on another burner.  Two pots I know, but I really needed this soup quick! :D I cooked the pasta only for 8 minutes in salted boiling water since the pasta will continue to cook in the soup. You don’t want over cooked mushy pasta!! Save the pasta water to thin the soup out. 

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds, taking care not to burn it. Add the chopped carrots and onions. Saute until onions are soft. Now add the green beans (I used frozen) and cubed tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Now stir in the red kidney beans and zucchini. Cook for a minute, then add plain water and pasta water (or vegetable stock) as needed and the cooked pasta. Season with salt to taste, pepper and the oregano. Remember the pasta water has salt too, so check for salt before adding more. Combine and bring to a rolling bowl on medium heat. Lower heat and simmer for 6-7 minutes. Lastly stir in the spinach and turn off heat. The hot soup will cook the spinach. 



Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese if using. Serve warm. This was soooo comforting and perfect for the rainy evening. Enjoyed every bit of it though I did miss the Garlic breadsticks to dunk in the soup, hmmm that is for another day! :D 

Another version of the Minestrone here.

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