Minestrone soup is a great go-to meal. It works as well on a cold evening using items you most likely have in the fridge and pantry as it does in the summer, when you can find most of the ingredients fresh from your local Farmer's Market or your own garden. This recipe works as-is for those who are gluten free, and our vegetarian and vegan friends can modify by swapping out the chicken broth and using vegetable broth instead. Added bonus: it makes your home smell fantastic.
To cut down on chopping time, I use my trusty mandoline. I find that the handheld version is great for these recipes. Mine is made by OXO and is one of the best kitchen gadgets ever gifted to me.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large zucchini, sliced into rounds and then half the rounds
- 1 tablespoon Rubarama Jack's Blend
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 28-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 15-ounce can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed*
- Optional: 1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Let's get cooking! Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute. Add celery and carrots, cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, cook one more minute. Stir in the green beans, Rubarama, oregano, basil, and salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the diced and crushed tomatoes and the chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in the kidney beans and garbanzo beans. Reduce to low, and allow the flavors to get happy, about an additional 30 minutes.
Many store-bought broths, even the low-sodium options, have added salt, so give a quick taste and then season to taste with salt and pepper. If adding more seasoning, give the soup another 10 minutes on low. Ladle into bowls and top with the cheese. Makes 10-12 servings.
What we used: OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer and Jack's Blend
* You can use elbow pasta instead of garbanzo beans, but I find that it gets too mushy, whereas the beans will stand up to the liquid far better...and then you can feel all holier-than-though because you skipped the extra carbs!)
Thanks to Cindy, one of our Rubarama Recipe Team for this one. Check out all of Cindy's other recipes here.