Spring is springing (finally!) in the hills of Tennessee, and I couldn’t be happier.
But, there’s something about springtime that also makes me just a little bit sad. I live in a second-story apartment with a teensy closet-sized patio, so there really isn’t room for much gardening. My husband and I seem to be really good at killing perfectly healthy plants, but somehow we usually manage to grow some basil and maybe a few cucumbers and tomatoes on our little balcony.
BUT, that’s soon to change. If everything goes as planned, Jonathan will graduate from anesthesia school next December, and we’ll get to move into a real house. CanNOT. Wait. Seriously.
Am I the only one who always buys way, WAY too many fresh vegetables while grocery shopping? You know…like to the point of finding rapidly-wilting kale, cilantro, parsley, and celery stashed into every available corner of the fridge? Please tell me I’m not the only one.
If you’re like me, you’ll understand just how satisfying a good fridge-cleaning session can be–especially if that means pulling out all of those stashed-away vegetables and throwing them into a giant pot of soup. Minestrone soup.
Somehow, minestrone has a way of marrying the comfort of winter and the joy of spring together in one pot. Who says soups are only good in the middle of winter?? Oh yeah…some of you are still experiencing the effects of the polar vortex. Sorry. Spring is coming for you too. I promise.
If your finally starting to thaw, or even if you’re still hibernating under parkas, mittens, and scarves; you’re going to love this versatile minestrone.
One more thing: those croutons? You can find a recipe for them here.
Easy One-Pot Minestrone Soup
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large carrots thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup total)
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped summer squash or zucchini
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 can diced tomatoes (or 15 ounces)
- 2 cups your favorite marinara sauce optional, but adds additional flavor and richness
- 1 can dark kidney beans (or 15 ounces)
- 1 1/2 cup green beans in bite sized pieces (I used frozen.)
- 1 1/2 cup dried elbow macaroni
- 1 cup kale leaves torn (optional)
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon basil or fresh, if you have it
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes optional
- 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper optional
- 1.5 tsp Salt or to taste
- In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery, summer squash for about 5 minutes in a little olive oil (or water, if you prefer oil-free cooking).
- Add 6 cups of water, diced tomatoes, marinara sauce, kidney beans, and green beans to your pot, and bring to a slow boil.
- Add dried elbow macaroni, Italian seasoning, dried basil, sugar, yeast flakes, cayenne pepper, and salt to pot and cook uncovered on medium heat for about 13 minutes, or just until macaroni is al dente. When macaroni is about halfway done, go ahead and add your torn kale so it can begin to wilt.
- Salt to taste, and serve hot with garlic croutons or crackers.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34 (King James Version)