I love soup. I honestly could eat it several days a week along with some really wonderful breads. Well, in the cold months anyhow. It’s easy to make, cheap on the wallet and you can make it to suit your own tastes.
It’s funny as I found the following recipe 13 years ago. I was pregnant with my fifth child and was snuggled under a blanket with my Mothering Magazines and this soup was suggested as a soup to give strength to a new mother. I marked the page as something I wanted to try. It didn’t seem to hard and I figured it would be something I could cook easily with a new-born. My husband actually made this soup the first few times we had it as, what I didn’t expect, was the birth of my son would leave me exhausted and more tired than I ever expected, thanks to a few little complications. Thankfully this was just after family leave started and so my husband was able to take a full month off work to not only help me but help with getting the house ready for the holidays and then the flu that hit us shortly there after. Did I mention our dog had a litter of puppies right after my husband went back to work? Yep, it was that sort of winter.
This soup became a staple that winter on my menu. It did just what the article said it was going to do. It warmed me and gave me back my strength along with my family. I always used chicken broth in the early days of making this and I still do when we have a cold in the house as the there is a proverb that goes,
Good broth resurrects the dead” ~ South American Proverb.
I make this soup with a variety of different vegetables and pasta shapes. I also now use a dairy free pesto recipe you can find the recipe for here.
I have made this in the crockpot, just toss the cooked pasta in before you serve it. Also if you forgot to cook your pasta, no worries, just dump it in about 10 mins or so before you plan on serving and it will be cooked. The only thing with this is it will absorb more of your broth, leaving you with almost a stew like minestrone but hey it works if you need to. I can’t tell you how many times I have done this.
If for some reason you can’t get fresh vegetables or can’t afford them, frozen works well too, just cut down the cooking times or you will have mushy veggies. Minus the pancetta if you kept a few bags of frozen veggies , pasta and boxes of broth on hand you could whip this soup easily when you’re not feeling well and leave the over salted canned soups alone.
Minestrone Soup W/ Pesto
- 2 Tbls olive oil
- 1/4 lb pancetta (diced)
- 1 med onion , chopped
- 1 rib of celery, sliced
- 1 carrot cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups fresh, roasted or canned tomatoes, chopped
- 6 cups of organic , low/no salt vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 cup of cooked white beans
- 2 zucchinis, chopped
- 2 cups of swiss chard
- 1/2 cups of cooked pasta shells
- salt, pepper, oregano, basil to taste
- In a large pot heat oil. Add pancetta cook untill colored but not crisp. Add onion, celery , carrot and garlic and saute untill soft.
- Add tomatoes, stock and beans, simmer 30 mins.
- Add zucchinis and chard, simmer 10 mins
- Taste and add seasons to your liking.
- Add cooked pasta before serving.
- Serve in warm bowls with a dollop of pesto in each bowl and lots of warm crusty bread.
Untill next time ,
blessings and love,