Saturday, November 18, 2006

Minestrone Soup

Tonight I made minestrone soup, from the October 2006 issue of Real Simple. It's very much a "let's open this can and pour it into a pot" kind of recipe, so I was a little bit apprehensive. I must say though, I was very impressed. For the tremendous lack of effort required, it yielded fantastic results. It even looked pretty! How bizarre! I would definitely make this again.

My only change was that I added some cooked orzo pasta during the last step. I'm sorry, but minestrone is supposed to have pasta in it. I was surprised that this recipe didn't include pasta. Orzo was just what I had on hand, but you could also use pastas like macaroni, ditalini, and orecchiette.

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 32-ounce container vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can cannellini (or other white) beans
1 15-ounce can kidney beans (optional)
1 9- or 16-ounce package frozen green beans
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 5-ounce bag fresh spinach or one 10-ounce box frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan
Crusty bread

In a large pot, over medium heat, bring the tomatoes and their liquid to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth, white beans, and kidney beans (if using) and bring to a simmer. Add the green beans and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and spinach and stir until wilted. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Serve with the bread.

Yield: 4 servings
(Note: It actually yielded more like 6-8 servings. You can freeze the leftovers)

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