One of my favourite things to do is to make a scrumptious dinner for my sweet family. And when it's one of my Mom's recipes, it's even more special. This is Mom's Minestrone Soup. I need to ask her where this recipe came from, as I'm 99.8% certain that we have no Italian heritage. You wouldn't know it, by how much we enjoy Italian foods, though. And this is one of our faves.
Mom's original recipe called for dried kidney beans. I don't think I've ever made it with dried beans, but feel free to do so. The above photo is incomplete, as I had forgotten to get out the garlic. And another ingredient that's missing is fresh spinach, because I had forgotten that I used the spinach in another dish a few nights ago. Whoops.
It starts with chopping some yummy veggies - celery, carrots and garlic. Sauté the trio in a little butter and olive oil for 3 or 4 minutes, then add in 3 cans of kidney beans, that have been drained, rinsed and half of them crushed. Mix in a large can of crushed tomatoes, some dried basil, dried parsley, 3 bay leaves, 2 boxes of chicken broth (or water), salt and pepper. Let that simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Add in the macaroni pasta and cook for 15 more minutes.
Fresh Parmesan cheese is the perfect topping to this delicious and filling soup. Serve with garlic bread or bread sticks, like I did last night or just add a green salad. Either way, it's the perfect meal for a chilly January night.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 carrots, sliced
4 celery stalks with leaves, sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cans kidney beans, drained, rinsed and half of the beans crushed
1 large can crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
3 bay leaves
2 boxes of chicken broth (or the equivalent of water)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1 to 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 cups macaroni pasta
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Chop celery, carrots and garlic. Sauté the trio in a little butter and olive oil for 3 or 4 minutes, add in kidney beans. Stir in crushed tomatoes, dried basil, dried parsley, bay leaves, chicken broth (or water), salt and pepper. Let that simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Add in the macaroni pasta and cook for 15 more minutes. Add spinach in last 5 minutes of cooking.
Add Parmesan cheese as a garnish. Enjoy!
This recipe serves 8. It can easily be vegetarian by switching the chicken broth to vegetable broth or water. And it's a frugal recipe, too!
Blessings and love. xo