Sep 03 2014
I’m surprised this recipe hasn’t made it onto the blog yet, since it’s one of my originals and I make it pretty often (often twice a month). I should clarify that I’m not entirely certain whether this soup can be classified as a minestrone since I chose not to add pasta to it. I like to freeze half the soup because we’re only two people and the pasta gets gummy and broken up and just not very pleasant when it’s been frozen and reheated.
Olive oil – I probably use 1/3 cup. The only fat you’ll get from this dish is this oil – so I tend to go heavier rather than lighter.
One large Onion
4 cloves garlic
3 stalks Celery
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can of Cannelini beans
1 15-ounce can of Pink beans (or small kidney beans)
2 medium Zucchini (or one large)
1 bunch Kale (or 3-4 cups). This is a great application for curly kale, but I have used lacinato as well.
1/2 teaspoon of Marjoram
Salt and Pepper, to Taste
Before you begin your vegetable prep – get a pot that’s big enough for soup (my soup pot holds 6 quarts and gets quite full). Add your olive oil – you’ll want enough oil to saute your aromatics. Place the pan it on the stove on medium or medium-high heat, so your oil will be heated by the time the vegetable prep is done. If you’re slow at chopping (like I am) keep an eye on your pot to make sure it doesn’t get too hot (your oil should be shimmering, but not smoking or splattering or writing poetry).
Chop your onion, chop your garlic, chop your celery and peel and chop your carrots. You can chop your vegetables as big and thick as you’d like, but keep in mind that you’ll want your vegetables to fit in a soup spoon comfortably (and while the onion will cook down, the celery and carrots won’t). Add the onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the pot with the heated oil. You’ll cook the vegetables on medium or medium-high heat until the onions start getting translucent. Make sure to stir the pan often enough that nothing sticks (but if you add enough oil at the beginning, that shouldn’t be a concern).
While those aromatics are cooking away, take the opportunity to chop your zucchini (peel any spots that look rough, but otherwise I like to keep the peel on the zucchini). For small to medium sized zucchini, I generally halve my zucchini lengthwise and then slice them (maybe 1/4 inch thick). While the aromatics cook, I also drain my canned beans and make my stock (since I use better than bouillon- I boil 2 cups of water and add the better than bouillon concentrate).
Once the onions and junk are cooked to your desired level, add the stock, canned tomatoes, canned beans and zucchini. Bring the soup to a boil. Once the soup is at a boil – I like to season it. I add marjoram (1/2 tsp dried) and salt and pepper to taste. You could also add basil – but I didn’t since my crushed tomatoes had basil in them. At this point, lower the heat to bring the soup to a simmer and cover your pot. I generally stir every ten minutes or so while the soup is simmering.
While the soup is happily simmering, I wash and chop my kale. I wait to add my kale until ten minutes before I’ll serve the soup because I like the kale to maintain some tooth-some texture, but you can add it at any point. The soup is ready to eat once the zucchini and kale have cooked through. You can drizzle the soup with more oil upon serving (or add a small amount of earth balance) or top with fresh basil if you have that on hand. If you’re not vegan, you could add a bit of butter or Parmesan to the soup upon serving.
It’s great on its own but I’ve served this soup with homemade caraway seed and onion bread (pictured above), rosemary foccacia and even with rosemary-seasoned oven-roasted potatoes. It’s a super easy soup, generally takes only about 30 minutes on the stove to cook through (though I usually let it go longer). This recipe makes six servings.
Moo-tritionals (per 1.5 cup serving):
Calories: 304 kcal
Fat: 14 g
Sodium: 513 mg
Potassium: 1127 mg
Total Carbs: 38 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sugar: 10 g
Protein: 11 g
One serving alone also exceeds the recommended daily allowance for both Vitamin A and Vitamin C.