I’m on a soup kick. The weather is getting colder, and when that happens, a little switch flips on in my head and I start bustling about complaining that I’m cold and frantically cooking giant vats of soup. And mind you, the years I spent working as a cook at a childcare center have rendered me incapable of cooking for fewer than 70. Fortunately, I married someone with the metabolism of a hummingbird. Carla eats A LOT. I love to cook huge amounts of food, and Carla loves to eat. It’s a match made in heaven.
We keep half of what I cook available in the fridge to eat throughout the week, and we freeze the other half. So as the cold weather rolls in, we have plenty of warm dinners ready to go and leftovers to pack in lunches for work.
So far we’ve had Roasted Butternut Squash with Chipotle, Rustic Tomato Lentil, Green Chile Stew, and Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili. Carla even got in on the action and made some Dal.
This week it’s Hearty Vegetarian Minestrone. This soup is thick and delicious and crammed full of veggies, beans and pasta. Nothing wimpy about it. Served with a little Parmesan and rustic bread, it makes for a perfect meal on a chilly night. So get out your biggest soup pots and make room in the freezer! If you have 70 preschoolers to feed, or a very hungry Carla of your own, this is the soup for you.
Hearty Vegetarian Minestrone
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
5 carrots sliced into rounds
2 cups diced celery
½ lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cans of kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 can tomato sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
8 cups water or veggie broth
salt and pepper
½ cup seashell pasta
(optional) Shredded Parmesan cheese
In a large stock pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onions, carrots and celery and sauté until onion is soft- about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sauce, green beans, basil, oregano, kidney beans and garbanzo beans, and water or broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until veggies are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the pasta separately, drain and add to the soup.