Its finally starting to get chilly in New England. I'm not trying to hurry the warm weather away, but its the middle of October and we're still having days where wearing shorts is totally appropriate. Even though the weather has been back and forth, the foods I'm craving and making are definitely cooler weather themed. I find that myself making a lot of soups, stews and curries because curries I can make them ahead of time and when it comes time to eat, warm them up and I'm good to go. They're also a great way to use miscellaneous vegetable lurking around in your refrigerator. Which happens to me all too often.
For this minestrone I kept it really simple. Mirepoix vegetables (onion, carrot and celery) plus a zucchini, a can of diced tomatoes and a can of red kidney beans. It doesn't get more simple than that. And thanks for a mix of herbs- some fresh and some dried- this soup has a well rounded flavor is easy to achieve.
I paired the soup with a quick homemade herb focaccia (recipe coming soon!) and we sliced open and made into chickpea salad sandwiches. It was a simple, warming and easy dinner. I'll be making variations of this soup and focaccia sandwich combo all autumn and winter long.
Yield: A little more than 2 Quarts
I Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Celery
1 Cup Chopped Carrot
2 Cups Chopped onion
2-3 Sprigs Thyme
1/2 Sprig Rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Garlic
2 C Zucchini (1 Medium, chopped)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground sage
4 Cups Vegetable Stock (one box)
1- 15oz can diced tomatoes*
1-15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 Cups Kale, washed de-stemmed and chopped**
In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, combine the celery, carrot, onion, thyme, rosemary salt and pepper and olive oil. Let the vegetables cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in garlic, zucchini, oregano and sage and cook for 2 more minutes. Add vegetable stock and the can of diced tomatoes with its juice. Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat down to low. Let your soup simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until everything is tender. Add in the rinsed beans and kale, stir and let the kale wilt down. This will only take a couple of minutes. Serve immediately or pack your soup up and refrigerate to serve later. It will keep in your refrigerator for 5 days.
*I used unsalted diced tomatoes. If yours are salted, pull back a little on the listed measurement for salt.
**I used purple kale because that was what was on sale, but any kale will work beautifully.
Let me know how this recipe works for you-- and what you paired your soup with!