Tuesday, September 25, 2012

End of Summer Minestrone

Don't focus on the "End of Summer" part of this blog title.  It's just going to make us both sad and it's not even worth it.  Time is time and no matter how much I pout, the cold and snow are going to come.  So, let's not talk about that.  I'm sure I'll complain more than enough once the winter storms start.

Instead, let's focus on the minestrone part.  This soup that was so thick with fresh vegetables, honestly we should be calling it a stew.  There were handfuls upon handfuls of green beans, juicy tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, onions, zucchini and summer squash.  Plus, just to fill it out, and to put to ease any boyfriends that are concerned about the lack of meat, some canned kidney beans.

This was fantastic.  It was filling, hearty and comforting, and one of the best things to sop up with a warm, crusty hunk of bread.  Plus, there was so much chopping!!  Maybe this isn't a plus for you, but a little slow, methodical chop-chop, dice-dice?  One of the best de-stressing techniques there are.  And with the start of cold, short days, who isn't a little stressed?  So, if we can't stop the end of summer, let's make soup to soak up ever last ounce of it we have left.

End of Summer Minestrone
Adapted from The Little Red House

This froze beautifully.  I froze the leftovers in individual portions and just last night pulled it out and left it to thaw in the fridge.  It had thawed by lunch time and microwaved like a dream.

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 carrots, chopped
5-6 baby Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
2 small onions, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. chicken stock
2 c. vegetable stock
2 cans kidney beans
2 c. green beans, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, shredded
1 c. whole wheat ditali pasta
1 zucchini, sliced in half moons
1 summer squash, sliced in half moons
Feta, to garnish

Chop up carrots and potatoes.  Dice onion.  In a large dutch oven over medium heat olive oil.  Add carrots, potatoes and onions and saute for 4-5 minutes until onions are soft and potatoes are starting to cook through.  Add garlic and diced tomatoes and continue to saute a few more minutes.

Add stocks and beans and bring soup to a boil.  Add green beans, bay leaves, oregano and basil.  Simmer until 15 minutes before serving.  Add pasta and squashes and cook until pasta is al dente, about 10-15 minutes.   Ladle into bowls and garnish with feta.  Serve with crusty bread.

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