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RECIPE I LOVE: Vegetable Minestrone Soup

I am not a food blogger, but I love food and feed my family regularly so I figure I can get away with a favorite recipe or two.  =)  I only post recipes that my entire family loves ... and mostly just to remind myself how I made it so it can be made again. This soup is so tasty and filling and healthy ... and reminds me of my favorite minestrone soup at The Olive Garden.

I just made this for the third time this month, y'all. It reheats beautifully and is my lunch option on most days. Here is what I used in this batch:


The fabulous folks at Little Spice Jar posted a recipe that I [almost] followed.  Changes I made include removing the Parmesan rind, onion, and celery. I used more vegetable stock and no water. I used frozen vegetables and frozen spinach, and didn't include the pasta in the soup. Rather, I allowed the kids to "layer" pasta and soup and I enjoyed the soup sans pasta. Fewer carbs for me. =)  I also cooked it in a soup pot in under an hour although having the crock pot option is great.

From Little Spice Jar's "Homemade Minestrone Soup"

  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 parmesan rind (I just sprinkled some parmesan into the soup)
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 bag frozen vegetables (diced carrots, corn, peas, green beans)
  • 1 bag shredded carrots
  • 4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, rosemary (I use an Italian seasoning)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups zucchini, diced
  • 2½ cups baby spinach, chopped (frozen)
Instructions
  1. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, Parmesan (rind or shredded Parmesan), vegetable stock, frozen vegetables, frozen spinach, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves to a soup pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until heated through, about 15 minutes.
  2.  Add diced zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add red kidney beans, great northern beans and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
  4. Cook pasta separately as directed on package.
  5. Serve by layering pasta and vegetable soup as desired (or skip the pasta altogether; it's delicious and filling without it)
  6. Top with Parmesan cheese.I enjoy mine with a splash of Tabasco on top! YUM!
SO delicious, PACKED with vegetables, and reminiscent of the fabulous Olive Garden soups!

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