I don’t remember my mum making minestrone when I was growing up but I do remember a very close friend of the family making the best soups and minestrone was always one of my favorites. The temperature dipped below freezing today and i needed a good hearty soup to warm me up so I decided to whip up a batch of minestrone. In true Accidental Chef fashion, I made the recipe up as I went along. I used gluten-free macaroni noodles for the pasta (made out of rice flour) that added a nice richness to the broth. When Romana makes the soup, she soaks the dry pasta in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes before adding the pasta (minus the soak water) to the pot.
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 small can tomato paste (I didn’t have any so I used tomato soup instead)
4 large tomatoes, diced
1 whole zucchini, sliced
1 cup cooked beans (I used Romano beans)
1 cup macaroni pasta (I used gluten-free), uncooked
1 cup spinach
8 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot on medium. Add garlic, onion, carrot and celery. Saute until the onions are soft.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, spinach, zucchini and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients except parsley, cook until pasta is done to taste.
Add parsley a minute before serving.
Accidental Chef’s Note: There is no end to the variations of this soup. You can substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth to make this a vegetarian meal. You can add tiny meatballs. You can even use rice instead of pasta and any variety of vegetables. Feel free to experiment!