MiLady’s Minestrone Soup Recipe

MiLady's Minestrone SoupYesterday, I posted on Facebook and Twitter that I was making a big cauldron of minestrone soup for dinner and last year, I blogged about making my minestrone soup with carrot flowers.

I developed my minestrone recipe after a dinner in an Italian restaurant where the chef recreated his Mother’s cooking for his patrons. It was an impressive soup. I found myself taking a sip then jotting down notes in my little notebook; taking another sip and making more notes. I went home that night and tried to reproduce the soup. It was good, though not great. A few weeks later, I returned to the restaurant and ordered the minestrone soup again and made yet more notes. The next pot of soup I made was perfectly delicious – though not quite the same as his. Everything I make is always different from the original because I usually make it vegan and with very little fat. Hey, I know how much oil and butter they use in restaurants. My conscience could never allow me to do that in my own kitchen. I feel that restaurant food is a delicious – and occasional – change from home cooking.

Since I posted a picture without the recipe, I now present my Minestrone Soup Recipe!

MiLady’s Minestrone Soup

This recipe serves 4-5. I usually double it so I have oodles of leftovers.

1 c dried beans — I tend to use a combination of white, kidney, red and black beans.  Since I soak and cook them myself (rather than canned), I have lots of options. Click here for my method of cooking beans from scratch.
1 T olive oil
¾ c chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
drop of liquid hickory smoke flavor
3 c water
1 small zucchini, julienned
1 c carrot, diced, shredded, or sliced into flowers or hearts
¾ c celery, sliced
¼ c fresh basil, chopped OR 1 tsp dried
¼ tsp dried oregano or 1T fresh chopped oregano
18 oz diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
¼ c uncooked ditalini macaroni*** (optional)

After I’ve cooked the beans from scratch, I drain them into a colander and rinse the pot. Then I put it back on the stove with the olive oil and heat it to sauté the onions and garlic until they are translucent. If I don’t have time to fire roast the tomatoes (and how many of us have that much time?), I add a drop of two of liquid hickory smoke for flavor.

I add the water and bring this all to a slow boil on medium heat.

Next I add the zucchini, carrots, celery, tomatoes (and pasta, if you plan to add it) and all my herbs and spices. When this returns to a low boil, I reduce the heat to low and allow it to sit for a few hours so the flavors really soak into each other. It should taste smooth and creamy with a bit of tomato tang. If it’s too tangy, add ½ tsp sugar and 1 T freshly squeezed lemon to even out the flavor.

*** I usually make my minestrone without pasta. I find it’s very hearty as it stands with all those beans in it. Plus, it’s gluten-free in case any of my celiac friends drop by for dinner. The other option (to prevent overcooking the ditalini) is to cook the macaroni separately and add it to the bowls before you ladle in the soup. This minestrone soup also works well served with garlic bread.

Any soup containing beans has a timeline, which looks something like this:

While making Supper on Day 1: Rinse beans, add to hot water.
While making Breakfast on Day 2: Cook the beans.
While making Lunch on Day 2: Strain the beans, make the soup, then allow it to slow cook.
Evening of Day 2: Soup should be ready to eat for dinner.

It sounds like a lot more work than it is. It really is fast and easy after the first time or two.

Anyway, have a try at it and let me know what you think.

Breathe deeply,
Laugh with abandon,
Love wholly,
Eat well.

MiLady Carol
Dazzling jewelry that reflects sparkling personalities!

5 comments to MiLady’s Minestrone Soup Recipe

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by miladycarol, GreenTeaLady. GreenTeaLady said: New blog post! My Minestrone Soup recipe with lots of tips and tricks to help you prepare it all from scratch. […]

  • Marilyn

    Here is a picture of my minestrone soup. I used your recipe as a base but did some tweaks of my own. As you can see mine is a little creamier. I added about 2 cups of half and half, and about 1/3c. Italian cheeses. I also threw in some mixed vegetables and spinach. I substituted some vegetable broth for the water. I used the same seasonings as in yours but I added a few extras like parsely, basil, bay leaves and thyme. I also threw in some garbonzo beans and gluten free pasta. Mine was vegetarian, but definitely not vegan.

    It was DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Oh, Marilyn, the pictures didn’t show up. If you email them to me, I’ll post them under my main post so everyone can see! Thanks!

    And that’s what cooking is all about, being inspired by something and shifting it, experimenting, and coming up with something completely different and utterly yummy.

    Did your kids like it?

    MiLady Carol

  • Oh, hey! I noticed the link addresses in the raw code of the comment to the pictures, so I managed to link them to your Photobucket account. I still can’t manage having the pictures actually show up here, yet there are the links! Yay!

  • Marilyn

    I tried on those pictures too. I used HTML tags as well. Oh well. Mike and I loved it. Once the kids saw I was putting spinach in it they wouldn’t even touch it. Their loss…