Have leftover vegetables and do not know what to make? Minestrone soup is the route you want to take. It is an Italian vegetable soup with a tomato broth. Usually made with rice or pasta. All depending on what mood you are in. A nice three-bean salad to go along with it makes a perfect meal.
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, butternut squash, green beans, and peas all work.)
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with their liquid or 2 small 15-ounce cans
- 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup whole grain orecchiette, elbow, or small shelled pasta
- 1 can (15 ounces) great northern beans, cannellini beans rinsed and drained or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale, or chopped collard greens
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnishing
- Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables have softened, and onions are turning translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano, and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring frequently, about 2 minutes.
- Pour diced tomatoes and their juices, broth, and water. Add the salt, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
- Raise heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with the lid. Leaving a 1-inch gap for steam to escape. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer.
- Cook for 15 minutes, then remove lid and add pasta, beans, and greens. Continue simmering, uncovered for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked el dente and the greens.
- Remove from the heat, then remove the bay leaves. Stir in the lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste and season with more salt and pepper. Garnish bowls with grated parmesan.