Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Garden Minestrone

     I've mentioned my volunteer grape tomato plant before, I know, I know, but here I go again. It's almost October and it's still going strong. What's a girl to do? I've already made a couple of batches of pasta sauce, a jar of tomato jam, not to mention the countless Caprese salads, but the little beauties keep piling up.
     So here's my next strategy: Garden Minestrone. The nights are getting cool, nothing like a bowl of hot soup to take the chill off. This came together very quickly due to the use of ready made vegetable stock and canned beans. However, I must say it tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen.  There's something sweet about making a soup in early autumn and using garden fresh summer vegetables. You certainly can taste it in this broth. It's light and sweet, though not too delicate that it can't hold up to beans and pasta.
     You may notice the conspicuous lack of celery in this recipe. Let me explain- I've gotten out of the habit of buying celery unless it's organic. I do love celery in soups, but find  I just don't go through it all before it goes limp. Bottom line, I hate to waste food. The veg stock I use has celery as one if the ingredients, so it's kind of in there anyway.  

Garden Minestrone

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped  
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon flour
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cups water (more or less)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup cooked tubettini
1 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup edamame
1 cup of grape tomato halves
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup basil leaves
freshly grated Parmesan cheese 

In a large pot heat the oil and add the onions and carrots. Cook on medium for 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook for another 5 to 10. Meanwhile cook the tubettini according to the package directions (you're gonna want them al'dente) and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, set aside. Add flour to the onions and carrots and stir to combine. Add 1 cup of veg stock, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and add the rest of the stock and 2 cups of water. Add beans, edamame and tomatoes. Cook for 20-30 minutes so everything comes together.  Add the pasta and check the water, add more if necessary and heat till pasta is warmed through. Adjust the seasoning. Serve with basil leaves and grated Parmesan. Makes 6-8 servings.

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