Sunday, August 02, 2009

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup is Italian comfort food. It is a garden in a bowl, filled with colorful fresh vegetables and herbs. It makes a great as a summer meal served with crusty bread, a salad and a good bottle of Merlot.You can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth if you are cooking for vegans.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped fennel
  • 5 carrots, sliced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes not drained
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 can white beans, drained
  • 1 pound fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
  • 2 green zucchinis, diced
  • 2 yellow zucchinis, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup dry mini farfalle pasta
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Place a large stock pot or enamaled dutch oven, over medium-low heat.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil heat until it shimmers.
  3. Saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes, do not burn the garlic.
  4. Add the onions and saute for 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add celery, fennel and carrots to the onions.
  6. Saute the vegetables for 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan.
  8. Add chicken broth, and the diced tomatoes.
  9. Bring to boil, stirring frequently.
  10. Reduce the heat to low.
  11. Add the beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil
  12. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Fill a 4 quart pan with water, salt and bring it to a boil.
  15. Add pasta and cook until it is al dente.
  16. Drain the pasta and shock in cold water to stop the cooking.
  17. Drain the shocked pasta and set it aside.
  18. Place 4 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls.
  19. Ladle soup on top of pasta .
  20. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of the soup.
  21. Garnish with finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  22. Drizzle with a good extra virgin olive oil and serve.

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