There is nothing more comforting than a hearty warm bowl of homemade Easy Minestrone Soup. A belly and heart-warming make-ahead meal.
We are finally getting healthy over at casa T. Poppy and I were both sick with a cold again! BOO! Luckily colds for me last 3-4 days. But colds for Poppy tend to last a full 7 days and always include sleepless nights and vomiting.
But thankfully my baby bear is almost 100% again! And it helps that we are having a freaken warm spell here!
I’m talking highs in the 40s and lower 50s! WHAT!? I know! For us this is absolutely glorious! So much so that we are even considering grilling next week! Haha! And I wouldn’t be surprised if I caught someone wearing flip flops!
It still astonishes me how much weather affects life and your mood here. Or at least my mood. When the weather starts getting cold or when we get our first few snow falls, it’s always exciting! You see people out sledding and enjoying the blanket of white.
But by January, February or March on really cold years, frigid weather starts messing with you. That’s when we all start taking warm weather vacations to get away.
This year I have to admit, I did not do well in January. A mixture of intense cabin fever, being sick and inactive was the perfect combination for a crap month. And boy did January drag on and on and on!
But once we took a trip down south at the end of January, it all changed! Being able to see sunlight, go for walks, sit outside, see the ocean, and spend time with my family was completely mood lifting.
It also helped that Abuela took Poppy 100% of the time. Literally the best mom vacation for me ever! I got to sleep and relax and wow was it nice! Thanks mom.
And now this warm weather spell is just the icing on the cake in the middle of winter. Can’t complain one bit.
Fabulous weather like this calls for healthy comfort food in the kitchen. Something that makes you feel good but is actually good for you. Easy Minestrone Soup.
Growing up I was obsessed with Olive Garden’s Minestrone Soup and breadsticks! OMG so good! But when I started cooking, I made it my mission to make my own awesome version of this classic Italian soup.
Luckily this is one of those recipes that is easy, you can use most veggies you have on hand, and it will feed you and your family for days!
The veggies in this particular recipe are on the “classic” side, because that’s what I happened to have on hand, but feel free to mix things up with different veggies.
And don’t forget, to bring this meal over the top by serving it with a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese and a nice big hunk of crusty bread lathered with butter.
If you need me I will be eating a bowl of my favorite soup outside on the deck 😊 😊 😊
Yields Serves 6-8
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 – 15 ounce can light kidney beans
- 4 cups vegetable broth (preferably low-salt)
- 1 1/2 cups small macaroni shells or small shell pasta
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Salt to taste
- Freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped (optional)
- To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
- Add the onion, zucchini, carrots, celery, and sauté for about 8-10 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir while it cooks.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, macaroni, tomatoes and juice, kidney beans, bay leaves, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, pepper, salt and bring to a boil.
- Let mixture come to a gentle boil for about 15 minutes or until macaroni is cooked through. If the soup ever starts looking a little dry, feel free to add half a cup of broth.
- Add the parsley and let it boil for another minute.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Serve with some freshly grated parmesan.
Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.