Two weeks ago, I asked all of you to tell me what you would like to see me to cook for Meat-Free Monday recipes. We have winners! For which kind of cuisine…Italian won! For what kind of recipes…breakfast/brunch and soups/stews tied for the win! So I decided to combine the top picks and make an Italian soup (I’ll make some more soup as well as breakfast recipes in the coming weeks).
Minestrone, which translates to “the big soup” or one with many ingredients, is a classic Italian delicacy. Many variations exist but it usually contains beans, tomatoes, onions, carrots and celery. I combined two of Donna Klein‘s minestrone recipes from her cookbook The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen.
Eating this soup whisks me away to a Tuscan countryside, basking in a warm breeze (hey a girl can dream!). A flavorful, hearty soup loaded with oodles of crisp veggies and tender pasta, smothered in a robust tomato broth infused with savory sage and fragrant thyme. With all of the veggies and protein-packed beans, this dish will make your heart (and your appetite!) happy.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion (yellow or white), chopped
4 ounces (about 2 small) carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery
4 cups veggie broth
1/2 teaspoon sage, dried & ground
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
Salt & pepper to taste
1 zucchini, quartered & chopped
1/2 cup green beans, chopped
1/2 cup elbow pasta
1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes with juice, tomatoes chopped
1 19-ounce can canellini beans (or other white beans), soaked & drained
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
2. Add the veggie broth, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Increase temperature to high and bring to a boil.
3. Add the pasta and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-high.
4. Then add the zucchini and the green beans. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until pasta is al dente (firm but not hard).
5. Reduce heat to medium. Add canellini beans and spinach. Cook for approximately 5 more minutes, until spinach leaves are wilted, beans heated and pasta tender.
6. Serve hot.
Makes 4 servings