A Healthy and Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe

I (Jen) can safely say Minestrone Soup will be a new staple in our home.  I love it for many reasons.  First, it’s something that I was eating as a baby when my Mom and Nonna (Grandma) would prepare it for me before I even had teeth.  For that reason it’s a soup that not only warms the belly, but also warms my heart.

Julia enjoying some vegetables – pre-soup
I also love that it’s a hard dish to mess up.  You can throw in whatever you have in your pantry and fridge and even though it may not taste exactly the same as the last time; it will always be good.  I also love that I feel good about serving it to my family.  It’s a healthy, complete, meatless dish that tastes good and leaves everyone feeling satisfied.   I love that it works for all ages.  As I mentioned I ate this as a child.  This is a perfect dish to blend up for your baby once they start eating real food.  And I love that now my daughter asks for this soup by name, nearly every day “mom-mom… ZUP!”

So here are very simple instructions for how to make this soup.  Keep in mind I have made this a dozen times since and it’s always different.  I will try to include ways I have switched it up.

INGREDIENTS

>1/4 of extra virgin olive oil, plus more garnish
>Three (3) carrots
>Two (2) sticks of celery
>One (1) small onion
>Half (1/2) vegetable bouillon cube (possibly a full cube depending on taste preference)
>Four (4) potatoes
>One (1) tomato or four (4) small cherry tomatoes
>One (1) green vegetable, on this evening I used an Italian vegetable that I don’t even know the name of.  You can instead use a cup of peas or a zucchini
>Farro (a grain similar to barley, I think you can get this at Wholefoods)
>Green lentils
>Orzo (this is a pasta shaped like rice)
>Two (2) cans of beans, you can use the ones you like the best.  I think it tastes the best when you use fresh beans though
Fresh vegetables
Your grains
Your beans
DIRECTIONS
My “cookbook” – pictures from Claudia making the soup earlier
>In a bowl set aside faro, orzo and lentils and let them soak.
>While they soak clean vegetables and chop into bite sized pieces.  I chop the onion and celery into smaller pieces.
Washing…
Peeling…
Chopping…
>In a large pot cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil.  Add all the vegetables*, drained and cleaned beans and the rinsed farro, orzo and lentils.  Cover the ingredients with water.
Place all the washed, peeled and chopped vegetables in a pot
>Bring the pot to a boil and add the bouillon cube along with about a teaspoon of salt.
>Once it is boiling turn the heat down.
>Cover the pot and let simmer for about an hour.  Stir often and be careful not to let the soup burn on the bottom of the pot.
Dadi (bouillon cubes)
Pot simmers with the lid closed
To serve, drizzle with high-quality olive oil and cover with grated parmigiano cheese.
The finished product!
ENJOY!  I would love to hear how your soup turns out.
*another method is to add the finely chopped onions, celery and a single carrot (leaving the others carrots cubed) to the olive oil and cook until tender and fragrant (approximately 4 minutes).  Then add all the remaining ingredients and proceed as outlined above.
Who Needs Petting a Zoo?
A Culinary Odyssey of Epic Proportions!

2 thoughts on “A Healthy and Hearty Minestrone Soup Recipe”

  1. I love soup, probably my favorite first course. Your recipe looks very good. I think it is always preferable to “render” the finely chopped vegetables in any dish because it definitely releases flavors which you don’t get if you just cook them with the other ingredients.

  2. I agree Michel that that is the best way to develop the flavor. However, they are so health conscious here that they don’t like to “fry” the vegetables first. They don’t think it’s as healthy that way. I have tried both and I think they are both good depending on what you are trying to accomplish. I can’t wait for you to teach me some new recipes!

Please let me know your thoughts!