Some minestrone recipes contain a diced potato, chopped cabbage, or even sliced romaine lettuce. What makes this one so delicious is a good-quality tomato sauce and finely grated parmesan cheese. If there’s fresh basil available, using a scissors, snip some on top of your bowl of soup!
What You'll Need: Serves 6
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion
3 large cloves garlic
2 medium-sized carrots
2 long stalks of celery
4 cups unsalted chicken broth (go vegan or veggie with vegetable broth)
1 medium zucchini
1 (14-15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can northern white beans
1 teaspoon each: dried oregano, dried basil
2 cups bottled marinara pasta sauce (like “Newman’s Own Tomato-Garlic Sauce”)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, extra for garnish (scratch this for a vegan soup)
Optional: 1 1/2 cups small pasta such as tubetti (make it gluten free with GF pasta)
What You'll Do:
1. Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic and set aside. Scrub and was the carrots celery, and zucchini with a vegetable brush, or a brush that hasn’t been used for anything but food. Slice the carrots in half and then into quarters. Chop into a quarter-inch dice. Slice the celery stalks in half lengthwise and chop into a quarter-inch dice.
2. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook for a minute or so until soft, stirring once or twice. Stir in the carrots and celery. Add the chicken broth and cover. Cook for 20 minutes until the vegetables soften.
3. While the veggies are cooking, slice the zucchini in half, then into quarters, and chop into a quarter-inch dice. Rinse the beans in a colander and let drain. When the veggies are soft, remove the lid and add the zucchini, tomatoes, beans, oregano, basil, and tomato sauce. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes over medium-low heat until the zucchini is tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the directions. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water so the pasta doesn’t stick together. To serve: Ladle the soup into bowls. Place a spoonful of pasta in the middle of the bowl. Have a bowl of extra cheese to sprinkle on top. If you like, serve with some hot, crusty bread.
Leftover soup? Once it has cooled, ladle into plastic containers, leaving a half-inch of space at the top of the container. Cover and label with masking tape the date and “Amy’s (or whoever’s) Minestrone.”