Recipe Of The Week-Minestrone Soup

My family loves this soup. My toddler asks for it, and will eat an entire bowl. It is also a great way to use up all those extra veggies at the end of the week. It seems like a lot of ingredients, but by using leftover veggies and freezing some (this soup makes a TON), it actually becomes an inexpensive yet healthy dinner option.

Frugal Momma’s Family Favorite Minestrone Soup
Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 C onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 C carrots chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup red wine (optional, but recommended…gives the dish a real finished richness)
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained
  • 1 C cut green beans
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
  • 2 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
  • 3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup small pasta (such as seashell, ditalini, or elbows)
  • grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.
  3. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.
  4. Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

    Note: To freeze this recipe, do not add pasta. Freeze in a Ziploc bag or container. If desired, after soup is frozen (about 24 hours), transfer to FoodSaver. To reheat, defrost in the fridge, then reheat on stove. Cook pasta separately, and add to individual bowls.
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