Hearty minestrone soup recipe back from 2013, which I made while visiting mom’s farm in Alberta and used my son’s red T-shirt as “a napkin” for a photoshoot. Needless to say pictures needed a makeover, however the recipe was tip-top. Clearly on a million acres farm in +10 C summer days there was not much to do except watch TV, cook and drink wine.
I still can’t believe I drove 1,100 kms each way with 2 little kids all by myself and gave Alex a 2 weeks vacation. Just like I moved from a teeny town to a big city to go to university with $500 in my pocket, not knowing anyone and living in Canada for only 8 months. I wish I had half of that courage right now…
By the way, I hated university, I hated accounting, lost my job but I met Alex and it all worked out. Proof that sometimes you just gotta go for it and leave your comfort zone. And proof that parents are not always right – accounting was my mom’s idea. I spent a bunch of time and money and now… It always almost worked out for me, except one time, when we lost um $80,000 in real estate. Yeah…that didn’t go that well…But hey, clearly we made it because I can afford a $60 dutch oven (I have been making circles around it for almost a year).
So, just like in life sometimes you gotta take a leap of faith in the kitchen. And I did by adding a bit of brown rice to further blend it to make my minestrone soup creamy. So what Italians do not make creamy minestrone soup like I do?! They eat salami with cheese on top of white bread with a glass of wine and tiramisu for dessert, and I don’t.
Today, on a chilly Fall day, when I feel like I lost a bit of focus in life (which clearly will be redefined at a leg workout class tonight) I was craving a hot bowl of minestrone. I can already hear boys asking for Parmesan cheese in their bowls and Alex thinking how much cholesterol that is. I won’t be here for dinner and frankly I do love to skip it sometimes because dinner time with a 4 year old…I’m so happy (in this way) it is officially my last year with a 4 year old ever!
I remember my mom was running around me all nervous: “Are you sure it will be tasty? Don’t waste my food because the nearest store is 70 kms drive. Why use a blender, so much work and cleaning?!”. Seriously, will I be the same at 60?! It is just soup. Do you have the same mom?!:) Do you think we will become old people like real old people? Wearing diapers, now newborns giving us a bath and our 4 year olds spoon feeding us…I better go eat some soup before I feel like reaching out for a glass of wine at noon LOL. Would it be completely wrong if I jumped in a hot tub with a glass at 1 PM on Wednesday?!
Enjoy the soup. It freezes really well if you do not have to feed an army like mine.
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tsp coconut or avocado oil
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 2 tsp basil, dried*
- 1 tsp oregano, dried*
- 1/2 tsp thyme, dried*
- 1 1/2 tsp salt**
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 15 oz can white kidney (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup any brown rice, rinsed
- 9 cups vegetable broth, low sodium (or 5 cups broth + 4 cups water)
- 1 1/2 cups small pasta of choice, dry
- 3 large handfuls of spinach or kale, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
- Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat dutch oven or heavy bottom large pot on low-medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion and garlic; saute until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add celery and carrots, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add basil, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, tomatoes, beans, rice and stock; stir. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes. Add pasta, cover an cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Scoop 2 cups of mostly rice and beans from the bottom, blend until smooth (I used an immersion blender) and return to the pot. This will make soup creamy. Add spinach or kale, parsley, basil and red pepper flakes if you wish. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese if you wish.
*You can also use a total of 3 + 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning instead. ***Because I use my own unsalted cooked beans, you might need to adjust salt depending on the sodium content of the beans you use.
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving = 2 cups:
Total Fat: 3.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 545.1 mg
Total Carbs: 40.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 13.0 g
WW Points+: 6