Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mama F's Minestrone

I'm not exactly sure what has taken up residence in my brain, but I have had a solid craving for Minestrone Soup.  It's INSANE.  I made a large batch of this the other day, and my family did  not eat much of it (my husband cannot have pasta, my oldest HATES pasta, my younger two liked it, I LOVED it!).  My husband did taste it, and said it was delicious.  And for him, a man who does not like tomato based soups, is HUGE.  It must be good, and must not just be my imagination! :)

I made it today for some friends coming over.  I make it "vegan" since my one good friend is vegan.  I did serve cheese on the side, for those, like ME, who are not.  And you really, really, cannot tell.  It's warm, it's comforting, it's delicious.  Perfect for a rainy, snowy day such as this.

Mama F's Minestrone

3 medium carrots, cut in 1/4" coins
3 stalks celery, cut in 1/4" half moons
1 medium onion, diced
1 large zucchini, large dice (note, you can add more if you like a lot of zucchini - like me!)
2 Cloves Garlic, smashed and minced fine
2 Cans Priano Italian-Style Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Happy Harvest Tomato Sauce
2 Cans Dakota Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1 Quart Chef's Cupboard Vegetable Broth
Olive Oil
Bay Leaf
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 Cups Season's Best Frozen Green Beans
2 Cups cooked pasta *I used an orzo that was bought during one of the "seasonal" items, it is not often available at Aldi, that said, you can use the Reggiano elbows instead.

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil.  Add diced onion, celery and carrot.   Reduce heat to medium and cook until onions are almost translucent.  Add zucchini and garlic.  Sauté for about 5 more minutes.  Add Italian-style diced tomatoes ,regular diced tomatoes.  Stir and sauté again for 5 more minutes.  Add about 3 cups of the broth (you can add more, if need be after adding pasta and beans).  Add bayleaf and cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until all the vegetables are nice and soft and almost melt in your mouth.

Stir in beans, green beans and cooked pasta.  Continue cooking until beans and pasta are warm.  Serve piping hot in bowls.