Are you making some resolutions a bit early? Or at least (as I am) trying for some moderation before the next feast? If so, this recipe is for you! It's healthy and filling and will warm you up on a cold Winter day. I shared it during Delia's Soup of the Day series and thought this week between Christmas and New Year's would be the perfect time to share it here.
I love soup. It doesn't get much better than a one-pot meal that can be made ahead and kept warm. This Minestrone Soup with Spinach just may be my favorite. It hits the spot when the weather turns cold. It's warm (of course) and has a richness that comes from the flavorful vegetables rather than a lot of added fat. So it's healthy too. The perfect thing for lunch or dinner (or both?), especially if you are trying to pace yourself with all the rich food during the holidays.
I love this soup all on its own, but it's hard not to give into a small handful of freshly grated Parmesan and a slab of good homemade or bakery bread. (This bread, which is pictured, is really really good with this minestrone, and super simple to make, but also a bit indulgent. Yum...)
Click to read more... (recipe follows)
This recipe makes a medium sized pot, but it seems like I usually double it so I have enough for a crowd, or for leftovers.
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 5 cups (40 oz) Chicken stock
- 1 lb diced tomatoes with their juice
- 1 large carrot (or a handful of baby carrots) sliced about ¼” thick
- 4-5 large handfuls of spinach leaves (I use the bagged/pre-washed)
- 1 14.5 oz can white beans (cannellini or great northern) rinsed
- 1/2 T basil
- 1/2 T oregano
- 1/2 T sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 c. macaroni or shells
- 2T balsamic
- Salt and pepper
- 2 T coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- Grated parmesan
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, carrot, basil, oregano, sugar and bay leaf.
Cover partially and simmer until the carrots are tender, at least 20 minutes. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, unil al dente, 8-10 minutes more. (I often boil the noodles separately and then add them in so that they don’t absorb too much of the broth). Add the spinach and stir it until it is wilted.
Add the beans and simmer until they are warmed through. Add the balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan.
And go ahead and dunk that bread!