Minestrone is a variety of thick Italian soups created with seasonal vegetables,beans and pasta or rice.It can be vegetarian,meat based or contain meat/chicken broth and thus has no set recipe.Common ingredients are beans,tomatoes,onion,carrot etc.Here I have recreated a minestrone soup which I saw in WomansDay magazine with little adjustments as per items available and it was perfectly comforting.
Onion: 2 medium
Garlic: 1 clove
Carrot: 1 medium
Zucchini: 1 small or 1/2 cup chopped
White Navy Beans: 1/2 cup
Green Beans: few
Elbow Macaroni: 1/4 cup
Tomatoes: 2 medium
Salt: as per taste
Spices as per taste and choice/availability
Red pepper flakes
Parmesan Cheese: 1-2tbsp
Parsley/cilantro leaves: 1/4 cup chopped or more
Garlic: 1 clove peeled
Soak the beans overnight and pressure cook it with little salt.You can also use prepared canned beans by draining and rinsing them.Finely chop onions and mince the garlic.Cut all the vegetables into smaller pieces so that they cook faster.
Heat olive oil in a soup pot and then add chopped onions.Cook until brown ,stirring occasionally.Add minced/crushed garlic and cook until fragrant.Then add water and also veg broth if you are using.I only added water -2-3 cups.Bring to a boil,adding salt.Then add macaroni pasta,carrots and other vegetables and boil for 10 minutes or until done.Then add 3/4th of cooked beans,spices and more salt if needed and simmer for few more minutes.Grind together remaining beans,parsley/cilantro,cheese and garlic.I used cilantro.Add chopped tomatoes to the soup along with half of the ground paste.Mix well.
Serve hot along with extra cilantro paste.You can top the soup with a dollop of paste or serve the paste as a side.The paste can also be used as a dip.
The picture was taken at night-dark and chilly and on a full soupy stomach.This was the last bowl,which I captured in the available light,before it was devoured.The pic may not be that tempting,but the soup surely is and is perfect for chilly nights.This goes to Sra of WhenMySoupCameAlive who is currently hosting Legume Affair-FourthEdition,an event started by Susan of WellSeasonedCook,and an event which I long wanted to take part but could not do so due to laziness,lack of recipes and and all other crazy things.
I have been given the "HARD WORKING FOOD BLOGGER" award by PRIYA of EasyNTastyRecipes. THANKS PRIYA FOR THINKING OF ME.
I have also been awarded the delicious "Chocoholic Award" by Yasmeen of HealthNut and Rekha of PlantainLeaf.Sweet Award from Sweet Girls and lets celebrate with chocolate.THANKS YASMEEN & REKHA,I surely am a chocoholic.