Garden Vegetable Minestrone – Colorful, Thick and Satisfying
I know, it’s odd to feature a recipe for soup when it’s so hot outside. But soup’s what I’d been cooking before the weather turned hot. And, fortunately, it will cool down again. And then you’ll be glad to have this tasty and satisfying Garden Vegetable Minestrone in your recipe collection.
After last week’s experiments with Tarte Soleil, this past Saturday farmers’ market cache was bound for something simpler and a bit healthier. With cloudy skies and showers in the forecast, I prepared a pot of thick and aromatic Garden Vegetable Minestrone.
Leeks, fresh garlic, carrots with tops, yellow squash, curly kale, purple-tipped scallions and red potatoes tumbled out of my market bag. Parsley, basil and thyme from my garden and a dollop of Garlic Scape Pesto rounded out the recipe.
Once you learn the basic technique, it’s easy to make Garden Vegetable Minestrone throughout the summer. Just add or substitute other vegetables and herbs as they come into season. Enjoy Garden Vegetable Minestrone hot, cool or at room temperature.
Minestrone (Italian: [mineˈstroːne]) is a thick soup of Italian origin made with vegetables, often with the addition of pasta or rice. Common ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock, and tomatoes. Wikipedia
Late last year I began saving most of my vegetable trimmings in a bag in the freezer. Leek greens, parsley stems, celery tops, limp carrots, onion peels, garlic scape buds, etc. all made it into the freezer. Then, whenever I wanted homemade stock, I had all the ingredients in the freezer ready to roll.
No more cutting up fresh ingredients for a pot of stock, only to toss them out afterwards. With my freezer bag full there’s little waste and lots of flavor. Honestly, I can’t believe it took me so long to do this.
Lots of soup
This Garden Vegetable Minestrone recipe makes a gallon of soup. That’s a lot of soup. On the one hand, you can easily cut the recipe in half. Though, on the other hand, can you ever have too much soup?
♥ Soup is meant to be shared.
♥ Soup often tastes better the next day.
♥ Frozen soup becomes a quick meal when you have little time to cook.
♥ Give some to a friend in need.
♥ Rejoice that you won’t need to cook again for a couple of days.
Garden Vegetable Minestrone with Pesto
Whether the vegetables are from your own garden or the “garden” on display at your local farmers’ market, this colorful, thick, nurturing and satisfying soup hits all the right notes. Add a dollop of your favorite pesto for even more summertime flavor.
With its rich broth from an abundance of fresh vegetables and herbs, enjoy Garden Vegetable Minestrone hot, cool or at room temperature.
Add or substitute other fresh vegetables as they come into season, such as green beans, corn, peas, spinach, Swiss chard, beet greens, etc. Although, according to Wikipedia, the most common minestrone ingredients include beans, onions, celery, carrots, stock and tomatoes, it’s odd that garlic didn’t make that list. It seems so essential.
Makes 16 cups Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 ½ hours
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups leeks, sliced 1/8-inch thick, 3-4 medium leeks (Use the dark green leaves for stock)
- 1 ½ cups carrots, 1/3-inch dice
- 1 ½ cups celery, 1/3-inch dice
- 2 large cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Dozen twists freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon sundried tomato paste
- 2 cups potatoes, ½-inch dice
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (or 2 cups peeled, diced fresh tomatoes)
- 1 15-ounce can organic garbanzo beans, drained. Include the liquid as part of the vegetable stock.
- 10 cups unsalted or low sodium vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
- 2 cups zucchini or yellow squash, quartered and sliced 1/3-inch thick
- 3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage or kale cut into approximately 1 x 2-inch pieces
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley, torn basil leaves, or thinly sliced scallion
- 1 cup pesto, such as Garlic Scape, Basil, Carrot Top, or Tuscan Kale
- When you make your own stock, start cooking it before you clean and cut the vegetables for the soup.
- For the soup, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste. Cook 5 minutes.
- Stir in the diced potatoes, kale stems, canned or fresh tomatoes, and garbanzo beans. Add the stock. Bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the soup partially covered until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Put in the summer squash and the kale or cabbage. Cook until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped herbs. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Top each bowl with a tablespoon of your favorite pesto.