Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I didn't know it was still winter!  Alas, it is.  It's snowing.  And so I'm still making soup!

Welcome to my world.

This is the first time I have made minestrone.  It's not something that I would normally order or crave.

BUT.  This minestrone is just delicious.  There are so many flavors!  I loved it.

So many veggies, so much flavor.  I made it thick like I like it and topped it with a sprinkle of parm.  Just like I like it.

Just sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic in some butter.  Let the veggies go until they're tender.

Now add the thyme, tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper.

Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Now stir in the cannellini beans, pasta, spinach and pesto.

I love wilting the spinach in this soup!  It is so much spinach that wilts down to nothing.  It adds a great texture and flavor, too.  I have never added spinach to a soup before but this will not be the last time I do it! I loved it!

And the pesto.  Can we just talk about the pesto for a minute.  SO GOOD, y'all.  So much flavor.  I used the pesto I made and froze while I was in labor with Baby Bear.  That was almost 7 months ago!  The pesto tasted just as delicious as ever.

Adapted from Barefoot

2 T butter
2 onions, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme (about 2 tsp leaves)
6-7 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, not drained
15 oz. cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked ditalini pasta (or use any short-cut pasta like orzo, elbow macaroni, etc.), cooked to al dente according to package directions (about 2 cups cooked)
3 T pesto (store-bought or homemade)
10 oz. package fresh baby spinach
Grated parmesan, for serving

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Sauté the onions, celery, carrots and garlic in the fat for about 10 minutes, until they begin to soften.

Add the thyme, 6 cups of chicken stock, the bay leaf, salt, pepper and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 30 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf.  Add the beans, cooked pasta and pesto.  Stir well.  Add the spinach and use a spoon to push the leaves into the broth.  The leaves will quickly wilt down and incorporate into the soup.  Add the extra cup of chicken stock if you want a thinner soup.

Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan on top.

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