Monday, September 24, 2012

CHUNKY MINESTRONE SOUP IS GREAT IN COOL WEATHER

Minestrone soup is a popular Italian dish that's a favorite way to use leftovers. The recipe for vegetarian minestrone soup highlighted in this post is super easy to make in the rice cooker or crock-pot and takes only a few ingredients. I made some today to celebrate the cool, fall weather. It was delicious.

A bowl of this chunky, homemade soup can be made for pennies a serving, and it’s guaranteed to warm you up on a cold fall or winter day. Fresh vegetables and herbs make this soup even better. (Remember most kitchen herbs do fine all winter when placed in small pots in a sunny window.)

A lot of people hesitate before making this wonderful dish because they’ve heard that most recipes are time-consuming. It all depends on how many kinds of vegetables you want to use and whether you do an initial sauteing.

The version I made was vegetarian but you can add meat stock and bacon bits, if you prefer. The recipe calls for zucchini but any combination of fresh or leftover veggies that you have on hand will do as well. It’s a versatile soup, so feel free to experiment according to your taste.

Recipe for chunky minestrone soup

Ingredients
1 small onion, chopped
1 small can of tomato sauce
2 veggie or chicken bouillon cubes
1-cup elbow macaroni
1-cup leftover, boiled and seasoned pinto beans
1-cup chopped zucchini
1 TBS. fresh, minced cilantro or oregano
4 cups of water
2 TBS olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (Remember to go light on salt. You may not need it at all with the bouillon cubes.)
Options: fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, grated Parmesan cheese and bacon bits – meat or meatless kind. Also dash of chili pepper

Instructions
Throw absolutely everything in a rice cooker at the same time and boil on high for 20 minutes.

If you use a slow cooker, wait until the stock and veggies have boiled a couple of hours before adding the macaroni. It should be ready to eat in another half hour.

Serve in ceramic bowls, topped with fresh herbs, grated cheese, and “real” or meatless bacon bits.

Makes a hearty meal when dished up with cornbread (or any whole grain garlic bread) along with small cups of applesauce on the side.

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1 comment:

sherry hill said...

I love this recipe and am going to try it. It's one of my most favorite soups ever. Thanks!