Hearty Minestrone is a healthy soup that chocked full of delicious vegetables. It’s comfort food at its best in the cold winter months, but equally satisfying when things warm up. Hearty Minestrone is easy to make, freezes well, and makes terrific leftovers.
Ingredients for Hearty Minestrone:
I used the following ingredients for this delicious soup: Olive oil, carrots, celery, onions, dried thyme, garlic, canned diced tomatoes, low sodium chicken broth, Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, cannellini beans, ditalini pasta, dry white wine, baby spinach leaves, and Parmesan cheese. I know that this sounds like a lot of ingredients, but they really come together pretty quickly.
Making the Hearty Minestrone:
The most time-consuming part of making this wonderful soup was preparing all of the ingredients. Once that was done, I heated some olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Then, I added the carrots, and sautéed them for 5 minutes. Next, I added the celery. After I stirred the carrots and celery together, I continued sautéing the vegetables for 5 more minutes. Finally, I added the onions, and sautéed 5 additional minutes.
Before adding the liquid, I added the dried thyme and garlic. I stirred to combine, and cooked the vegetables for another 30 seconds or so until the garlic was fragrant. After that, I added the canned tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. I brought the soup to a boil, and then reduced the heat to medium low. I covered the Dutch oven, and simmered the soup for about 20 minutes.
When the vegetables were almost tender, I added the zucchini. After stirring everything together, I covered the Dutch oven, and cooked the soup for an additional 15 minutes.
At this point, all of the vegetables were perfectly tender. To finish the soup, I added the cannellini beans, pasta that I had cooked to the al dente stage, and wine.
Once everything was heated through, I added the spinach, and cooked the mixture until the spinach was nicely wilted. I tasted the soup, and corrected the seasonings.
I served this incredible soup with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top, and a freshly baked baguette on the side. Yum!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery*
- 1 3/4 cups chopped onions 1 large
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 1/2 cups diced zucchini
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 28 ounce can petit diced tomatoes
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 15 ounce can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup ditalini or other small pasta cooked al dente, drained and rinsed
- 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots; sauté 5 minutes. Add celery; stir to combine and continue sautéing 5 minutes. Add onions; stir to combine and continue sautéing 5 additional minutes.
- Add the thyme and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Simmer 20 minutes. Add the zucchini. Cover and continue to simmer 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender. May be made in advance up to this point.
- Add the beans and cooked pasta. If soup is too thick, add more chicken broth to desired consistency. Heat 5 minutes.
- Add the wine and spinach; cook just until the spinach leaves are wilted.
- Correct the seasonings.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Yield: 8 servings.
*If your celery is too fibrous, it will take significantly longer to cook until it's tender. To judge whether the celery is fibrous, run your finger back and forth on the celery stalk. The rougher it is, the more fibrous it is. Look for smooth celery.