Minestrone Soup

MinestroneSoupIngredients:

For soup:

  • Vegetables – Onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, broccoli and zucchini – 1 cup each, cut in small / medium size cubes
  • Tomato – 1 large, chopped
  • Olive oil – 1 Tbs
  • Vegetable broth – 3 cups
  • Beans, Cannellini (creamy white Italian beans), cooked, 1 cup
  • Oregano – ½ Tsp
  • Basil – ½ Tsp
  • Thyme – ¼ Tsp
  • Black pepper – ¼ Tsp
  • Salt to taste

For pesto:

  • Basil – Sweet (Italian), 1 cup
  • Garlic – 2 large cloves
  • Olive oil – 2 Tbs
  • Pine nuts – 2 Tbs
  • Cheese – Parmesan, grated, 2 Tbs
  • Salt to taste

For crotons:

  • Any hearty bread (I used whole grain loaf from La Brea Bakery, available at Costco in their bakery section)
  • Olive oil – 1 Tbs
  • Salt to taste

Method:

Soup

  1. Heat the oil in a deep pan
  2. Add vegetables (not tomatoes) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly
  3. Add vegetable broth, cooked beans and spices (oregano, basil, thyme, pepper) and cook for 20-25 minutes, till all the vegetables are cooked tender
  4. Add tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes
  5. Add salt, based on the salt-level in the broth
  6. While serving hot, stir in ½ Tsp of pesto in the soup and top it with crotons

Pesto

Mix all the ingredients in a mixer into a fine paste

Crotons

  1. Cut the bread into ¾ inch cubes
  2. Mix the bread with oil and salt
  3. Bake the bread pieces in an oven at about 350 F for 15 minutes, till it becomes lightly brown

Servers: 4

Remarks:

This hearty soup can have several variations and this one is an attempt to recreate what’s served at Pasta Pomodoro restaurants. Along with whole wheat crotons, it makes a one-dish-meal!

Note that the pesto is an absolutely critical element of this recipe!!

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