Friday, January 13, 2012

easy (and healthy!) minestrone soup

Ok, so don't let my post title scare you away if you are afraid of the word "healthy."  Because you can adjust this recipe to be completely unhealthy, too, your choice.  The great thing about this soup is that you can pretty much throw in whatever veggies you have on hand, and they'll work.  And since it IS the New Year, and I'm trying to eat a little better, I thought I'd share my minestrone recipe.  If you're ready for some soup, you'll need:

Makes 4-6 servings
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green, red, or yellow pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini
1 can red kidney beans
1 can chicken broth
1 can tomato sauce (low or no sodium is best)
1 can diced tomatoes
fresh or dried basil
fresh or dried oregano

Optional additions:
meatballs (I add them straight from the freezer)
cheese or meat tortellini
shells or elbow pasta
fresh spinach
green beans

First you'll want to saute up your garlic, onions and peppers in the olive oil until they just begin to get soft.  I used those small red and yellow peppers because they were what I had on hand.
Chop up your zucchini.
And throw them on in after your pepper and onions start to soften.  Saute the the zucchinis until they, too are getting soft and slightly browned.
While your veggies are sauteing, pour your kidney beans into a colander and rinse them well under cold water.  If you were not aware, this gets rid of the excess gasses on the beans.  The gasses that in turn make YOU gassy.  But if you're eating all by yourself, feel free to skip this step.  See all the bubbles in the picture below?
That would be the gas.  Great.  Now I've doomed my blog to pop up whenever anyone Googles the words gas, gassy, or gasses.  Awesome.  Anyway, now that your veggies are nicely browned, pour in your chicken broth.
Now, If you like a more brothy minestrone, add another can of broth instead of the can of tomato sauce.  But I like a thick hearty soup, and the can of sauce adds a nice thickness to the minestrone.  Great.  Now when people Google thick and thickness, my blog will pop up.  Add your can of tomato sauce for thick thicky thickness. 
I'm so sorry.  And now add your can of diced tomatoes.
And, don't forget your now de-gassed beans!  I have also used Cannelloni beans and garbanzo beans in a pinch, but I like kidney beans best in this.
Now it's herb time.  Add in your basil, about a tablespoon of fresh, or a teaspoon of dried.  Or if you love these squeezy tubes of herbs like I do, just a few largish squeezes.
And now add your oregano.  Roughly the same amount. 
Bring it all to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and cover.  This is also the time you'd want to throw in meatballs or pasta.  I usually put in pasta, but I was trying to be all healthy.  Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.  Get out some bowls and serve it up!
I like to garnish with a dollop of pesto, and some fresh Parmesan, but I skipped the pesto since I was being all healthy.  But you cannot skip freshly shaved Parmesan.  That would be sacrilegious to the minestrone.  That would hurt its feelings.


1 comment:

your comments are the peanut butter to my jelly!