Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Amber's Minestrone Soup, Green Salad, Garlic Bread

Let Me Plan Dinner reader Amber submitted this minestrone recipe, a yummy Olive Garden knock-off she found at Recipe Zaar. I'll be serving it with a green salad and garlic bread. Too bad we don't have those Olive Garden bread sticks, too...

Here is the recipe from Recipe Zaar, scaled down to 4 servings.

1 1/2 T olive oil
1/2 c minced white onion (about 1/2 small onion)
1/4 c chopped zucchini
1/4 c frozen cut italian green beans
2 T minced celery (about 1/4 stalk)
2 t minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 c vegetable broth (Swanson is good *note: Do not use chicken broth*)
1 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) cans small white beans or great northern beans, drained
1/2 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 c carrots, julienned or shredded
1 T minced fresh parsley
3/4 t dried oregano
3/4 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t dried thyme
1 1/2 c hot water
2 c fresh baby spinach
1/4 c small shell pasta

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent. Add vegetable broth to pot, plus trained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

*Holy cow, this was the best minestrone soup I have ever, ever tasted. The seasonings and veggies in this dish are just PERFECT. I thought the beans got plenty overcooked, but then again I had to make this in the morning, refrigerate all day, and then reheat at night due to scheduling constraints. I think this one is worth making the full 8-serving recipe and having again in a couple nights. Yum, yum, yum.

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