Simple Minestrone

It’s hard to believe this is the 100th post at Diana Dishes.  So much has happened between now and that first post.  Pear Tarte Tatin, which started as a traditional apple Tarte Tatin until I realized that I didn’t have any apples, I had pears.  It was delicious, and I felt the need to get back to sharing my recipes with complete strangers 🙂 , so I started Diana Dishes.  Over time, I’d like to think my food photography has become better and that the recipes have become a little more interesting or informative.

So, I’m sorry to say that there’s no really complicated showstopper of a recipe to mark the occasion.  There’s no special cupcake, or one hundred of something that I made.  Heck, there won’t even be a recap of my favorites.  What we do have for the occasion, is a simple minestrone soup.  Yes, I’m marking the occasion with soup.  When I asked about making sandwiches for dinner, the response was kind of “meh,” until I suggested “I can make some minestrone.”  The attitude immediately became more of a “woo-hoo!!”  Once the bowl of minestrone was in front of Lane, two spoonfuls in, he declared “I’m having another bowl.”

This minestrone is so simple, it can be made on a whim, on a weeknight, with minimal fuss, and is so good, people will think it took days.  If you’re not going to finish the soup in one meal and will need to store some for another day, I suggest boiling the pasta separately instead of in the soup, and then adding the pasta to the individual bowls of soup.  This keeps the pasta from absorbing the soup while it is stored (if the pasta continues to absorb liquid during storage, it becomes like the super-elbow pasta you see in the picture below).  If you do have this issue, you may need to add a little water to the soup before re-heating, and then add salt and pepper accordingly.

Simple Minestrone

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 C. fresh or frozen green beans
  • 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 C. vegetable broth
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C. elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional, but recommended)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.

Add onion, garlic, carrot, and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned.

Add in zucchini, green beans, and diced tomatoes.

Stir in vegetable broth and water.

Add beans, macaroni (please see above), oregano, and basil.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables and macaroni are tender,about 35 minutes.

Season soup with salt and pepper and serve warm.

Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

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