Minestrone the Third
This week, I had the‚ privilege‚ of making dinner for a sick friend and his wife. When someone’s ill, there isn’t much one can do to help (doctors and nurses are excluded from this statement). So being able to provide food is a blessing to those of us who want to do something, but other than praying for healing, can’t make it better.
It’s also the case when a new baby arrives. You can’t fix the sleepless nights, but you can bring dinner over so the exhausted parents can have a break. (Hint hint, Andy and Laura, Geoff and Angie, Sean and Paige… If you’re reading this, please can I make you dinner?! I freely admit that it is mostly just an excuse for me to get to hold your wee child. Oh wait, you’re not reading this, because you’re hanging out with your new small person… Right.)
On Tuesday, after making the Roasted Broccoli and Fried Egg Sandwiches for my show, I made this Minestrone Soup for dinner. It was a kinda last minute idea. I had most of the ingredients, and Husband picked up a few extras on the way home from work. It was a chilly day and soup just seemed essential, plus it seemed like a good meal to bring to friends.
I’ve made Minestrone so many times. I’ve written it down twice. Tim loved this particular version so much that, even though it’s probably not too different from some of the others, I wanted to record what I’d done. When he yells that “it’s so freaking good”, it’s hard not to.
I had it for lunch again the next day. It was just as good, and maybe even a little better.
Oh how I love soup. Especially this one.
- ½ pkg. rice penne pasta
- 1 t olive oil
- 1 head broccoli diCicco, chopped (including leaves and stems)
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 shallot or onion, chopped
- ¼ C water
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ C peas
- 1 C kale (or spinach), chopped
- 3 T balsamic vinegar
- 1½ to 2 t salt
- 1½ to 2 C diced tomatoes
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1½ to 2 C garbanzo beans, cooked
- 1½ to 2 C cannellini beans, cooked
- 3 C vegetable stock
- 3 C water
- 1 T Italian herb mix (or a bit of each: oregano, thyme, and basil)
- 1 t fresh rosemary
- 1 T lemon juice
- lemon wedges, for serving
- parmesan cheese, for serving
- Heat soup pot, add olive oil; add broccoli, carrot, shallot, and 1 t salt. Cook covered over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ¼ C water, cook covered for 5 minutes more. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add vinegar, tomato paste, kale/spinach, broccoli greens, and peas; cook 2 minutes.
- Add stock, water, and herbs; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10-20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Add 1 T lemon juice.
- Cook pasta, but do not add to soup. Drain and keep warm.
- Add beans to soup, cook 3 minutes.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Place a scoop of pasta in a bowl, add soup, and top with parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon.
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