Hearty, cheap, healthy and filling, that’s why Minestrone is always my go-to soup when the weather gets cold. Super easy to make, it’s like the soup that keeps on giving: if you are running out of soupy liquid, just add more chicken stock and tomato puré, if you need more hearty goodness, chop up more vegetables, add more beans and boil up some more pasta. Alternate adding these additions and your soup quantity will stay at a stagnant half full for the good portion of the cold winter months. While this recipe might not be the traditional way to make Minestrone, it’s an easy one pot vegetable-packed wonder that doesn’t entail using any type of food processor or immersion blender.
MINESTRONE SOUP RECIPE
- 2 large leeks, thinly sliced– make sure to clean well because they can get grimy. Use only the white and pale green parts.
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 potato, diced
- 1 onion, semi frozen
- 1 celery, chopped
- 8-10 cups water (or more depending on taste)
- 3 bouillon cubes (more or less depending on taste)
- 1 can tomatoes (can be crushed or wholes)
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 container tomato puré
- 2-3 Bay leaves
- Freshly chopped parsley
- Salt n Pepper (dash of white pepper is optional)
- Frozen peas, green beans, corn (optional – I used fresh corn)
- Cooked pasta noodles (very al dente)
- White beans
1. Cut the onion in half and stick it in the freezer. Keeping it cold will eliminate some of the crazybitch tears that happen when you cut into those nasty devils. Or, you can embrace the onion tears at an exaggerated level and use it as an excuse to pretend-freak the fuck out, which can be fun too.
2. It’s time to cut up all your shit. This can be quite time consuming since I am a major SOUP nazi when it comes to the vegetable sizes, as I like to eat similar sized, uniform bites. Invest in a decent knife, I used a butter knife to cut my vegetables for the past 3 years and getting a good knife changed my knifelife.
3. Cut up all the vegetables: garlic, carrots, potatoes, onions, celery, leeks, fresh corn.
4. Sauté the vegetables in about 1 tablespoon of good (or bad) olive oil. Stir around for about 5 minutes. Add fresh corn and parsley. Stir some more. Add salt and cracked pepper. Stir again. You want the vegetables to get shweaty, but you don’t want them to brown. Transfer the vegetables to a big pot and add water + bouillon cubes (or stock) and bring to a boil.
5. Return to a low simmer once it starts boiling and add the tomato-y goodness: puré, canned tomatoes and tomato paste. Mix it up good (especially the paste). Throw in a few bay leaves. Add more pepper, salt to taste. Put the lid on top and let simmer for as long as you like. The longer it sits, the tastier it will be.
6. About 20 minutes before it’s ready to be served, chuck in the frozen vegetables (or canned), white beans and pre-cooked al dente pasta. You don’t want to add this too early in the process otherwise it will cook too much and get mooooshy and naush.
7. Top with parm cheese, serve with crusty bread or a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches.