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Winter Special – Italian Minestrone Soup

DinnerSoupsItalianVegan

When the cold days arrive, all we want is some comfort in a bowl. If you try this soup, you will be surprised to see that it doesn’t contain any spices and still it tastes so good. It is quite wholesome and nutritious too. It has got the flavors from tonnes of veggies and some fresh herbs. It is loaded with vegetables, beans, and pasta which makes it quite filling and fulfilling too. It’s a must-try. It is like a warm comfort in a bowl.

STORY TIME

We never tried this soup but one day I was going out to get some groceries to make our favorite Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup. On my way, I met my neighbors. We started talking and I told them that I baked Focaccia bread today which I am going to enjoy with some warm tomato soup. Then they suggested that since Focaccia is an Italian bread, why don’t I try it with some Italian Minestrone Soup. They love this soup and make it quite often.

Then they described the soup that made me tempted. We even started looking at the recipe and the ingredients and I got very excited to try that soup. I had most of the ingredients in my fridge and I actually didn’t need to buy anything for that. See, that’s the beauty of the soup. You can use any seasonal vegetable and whip up a nice warm and filling soup for yourself. It makes a perfect dinner on some cozy winter evenings. I would suggest trying it today with whatever veggies lying in your fridge.

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WHAT IS MINESTRONE SOUP?

Minestrone soup is a simple, thick, and delicious Italian Soup. The beauty of this soup is that there is no set recipe. You can use any seasonal vegetable that you have in your fridge and make it. The main ingredient is Tomatoes. You need a lot of it. Apart from that, it has got some Pasta (or Rice) which makes it a perfect meal and some kind of beans. Beans are a good addition to this soup because it adds a unique flavor and bite to this soup. another main ingredient that enhances the flavor of this soup is – Vegetable Stock or broth. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can use some chicken broth or any other meat broth of your choice. or you can try the simple and easy veggie broth that I make using some vegetable peels.

To summarise, below are the main ingredients for the vegetarian Minestrone Soup:

  1. Seasonal Vegetables like celery, broccoli, carrot, peas, spinach, zucchini, etc.
  2. Tomatoes, a lot of it
  3. Beans like kidney beans, cannellini beans, etc.
  4. Pasta
  5. Vegetable Stock
  6. Herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, etc.

This soup will make you happy. Nothing quite like it, to warm you up to your core. I even added a good amount of basil leaves because tomato and basil are like best buddies. They perform well when they are together. And the best of all is enjoying this soup with some fresh homemade Focaccia bread. Perfect combination. You don’t even need to toast the bread. Just make it fresh, make soup and you are all set. I bet after having this in chilly winters, you will have a happy mood and a good night’s sleep (if consumed in dinner).

vegetable broth
Vegetable Broth

EASY SWAPS

  1. Use any herb that you have got – fresh or dried. Rosemeary and basil tastes very good. But you can add thyme, oregano or parsley or even dried mixed herb seasoning will do.
  2. Use any stock that you have. I always prefer some homemade fresh vegetable stock but you can also try with some store-bought stock cubes.
  3. This soup tastes very nice with a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese but you can use any other cheese that you have like some cheddar cheese. Or you can also skip the cheese altogether. It still tastes delicious.
  4. You can use any kind of Pasta in this soup recipe. Or even if you are out of pasta, substitute it with some rice instead.

WHY USE BROTH INSTEAD OF WATER?

In this recipe, I suggested using homemade vegetable broth instead of water. Using vegetable broth takes the taste to another level. It makes the soup even tastier. Of course, you can use water also but I feel water just adjusts the consistency of the soup but doesn’t add any depth of flavor.

Making vegetable broth is quite easy too. I make it using all the vegetable peels which I usually discard. But in winter, I keep a bottle of vegetable broth ready at all times because we make soups, Khow suey, Thai curry, and ramen a lot. I always make it using vegetable scraps, even adding some leftover raw vegetables which we couldn’t finish and lying around in the refrigerator. I add spinach leaves too because it makes the broth much better in taste. I add some herbs and seasonings and just let it cook on the lowest flame for an hour or so. You don’t need to do anything, just sit and relax and it will be ready.

So, keep some vegetable broth ready in your refrigerator.

Minestrone Soup

IS THIS RECIPE VEGAN?

Yes. Of course.

Although the traditional recipe is garnished with some grated parmesan cheese. But I don’t add that. It tastes incredibly delicious even without that so you can totally skip that. Apart from that all the ingredients are plant-based.

OTHER RECIPES TO TRY IN WINTERS

  1. Vegan Thai Green Curry
  2. Veg Khow Suey
  3. Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

Now you are all ready to make this delicious, comforting, nutritious, vegetarian Minestrone soup at home. So, grab all the ingredients, and let’s start cooking. You can also call it Pasta soup. But Minestrone is fancy 🙂

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Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Recipe

Winter Special – Italian Minestrone Soup

Wholesome. Hearty. Flexible.

Servings

3

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

30 min

Rest Time

0 min

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pasta
  • 1 l Vegetable Broth
  • 3 (large) Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 (large) Onion chopped
  • 4 to 6 clove Garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup Carrot diced
  • 1/2 cup Celery diced
  • 1 cup Zucchini diced
  • 1 cup Broccoli diced
  • 1/2 cup French Green Beans cut into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup Green Peas
  • 2 cup Spinach Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp Tomato Paste optional
  • 1 cup Kidney Beans boiled
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 15 g Parsley chopped
  • 15 g Basil chopped
  • 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
  • Salt to taste

Steps

  1. Put a large pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add some olive oil into the pan and let it heat while you prep the veggies. 
  3. Add bay leaves and rosemary sprigs to the pan as soon as the oil is heated. Saute for a couple of seconds. 
  4. Add garlic and onion to the pan and let it cook for a couple of minutes till onions are slightly golden and caramelized. Keep stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add chopped vegetables - carrot, celery, zucchini, broccoli, french green beans. Saute and let it cook for a few minutes (7 to 10 minutes).
  6. Then add tomatoes, tomato paste, pasta, kidney beans, peas, chopped parsley, and the vegetable stock. Mix everything well. Cover and leave to simmer till pasta is just cooked and soup is thickened to your liking. It will take around 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Once pasta is well cooked, switch off the flame and finish it off with some fresh basil leaves and spinach leaves. Season the soup to perfection. Mix, serve, and enjoy this happy meal. 
frequently asked questions

FAQs

What is Minestrone Soup?
+

Minestrone soup is a simple, thick, and delicious Italian Soup. The beauty of this soup is that there is no set recipe. You can use any seasonal vegetable that you have in your fridge and make it. The main ingredient is Tomatoes. You need a lot of it. Apart from that, it has got some Pasta (or Rice) which makes it a perfect meal and some kind of beans. Beans are a good addition to this soup because it adds a unique flavor and bite to this soup. another main ingredient that enhances the flavor of this soup is – Vegetable Stock or broth. If you are a non-vegetarian, you can use some chicken broth or any other meat broth of your choice. or you can try the simple and easy veggie broth that I make using some vegetable peels.


What are the main ingredients of Minestrone Soup?
+
Below are the main ingredients for the vegetarian or vegan Minestrone Soup:
  1. Seasonal Vegetables like celery, broccoli, carrot, peas, spinach, zucchini, etc.
  2. Tomatoes, a lot of it
  3. Beans like kidney beans, cannellini beans, etc.
  4. Pasta
  5. Vegetable Stock
  6. Herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, etc.

What is a vegetable broth or vegetable stock?
+

Vegetable broth or vegetable stock is the same thing. It is a flavourful water which is made of any kind of vegetables (or fruits) with some herbs and spices added to it. The water is then brewed on the lowest flame for around 1 to 2 hours. This time allows it to absorb all the nutrients and flavors from the veggies. The water is then strained and stored in jars. You can store it for up to a week or 10 days in your refrigerator. Some people also store it for a month but I never tried that. I make a big batch during the winter and finish it within a week.

You can also make vegetable broth using all the vegetable peels. I make it like that and you will be surprised how some vegetable peels which we discard can add so much depth of flavor to the stock. Moreover, it reduces your kitchen waste too which is also nice and eco-friendly.


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