Welp. Here we all are. That had to have been the worst apocalypse ever. OR maybe I saved the world like I said I would yesterday. We’ll never know… 😉
All well. I’m happy we’re all still here. Let’s celebrate with soup, shall we?
I’ve been craving soup like a mad-woman for the past few days. The weather here is always a warrant for soup because it’s foggy, dreary, and either misting or sleeting or snowing.
The Viper Pilot calls it Italian Wedding Soup and I prefer Minestrone (because it’s more fun to say when you use an Italian accent). No matter what you call it, it’s a classic hearty soup with tomatoes, white beans, pasta, and veggies galore. I wanted a hearty soup with fresh, bright flavors without having to rely on market-fresh vegetables like the best Italian versions do. I realize Italy is close to where I live, but not that close. Sadly.
I went to the produce section and just started picking. Celery, carrots, zucchini, and fresh herbs: rosemary, parsley, basil. I went to town. I didn’t forget about the greens, I knew I had frozen spinach at home which is perfect for soup (in my opinion).
Okay, recipe time.
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 oz) can Italian diced tomatoes
- 1 (15 oz) can Navy (or cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed
- 3-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 oz chunk of good Parmesan cheese rind
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and fresh pepper
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 cups defrosted frozen chopped spinach (or fresh)
- 2 cups small pasta like elbows or shells cooked al dente
- 1 lb turkey sausage (or organic pork sausage if you can’t find turkey)
- extra Parmesan cheese to serve
Rinse and drain beans. Puree beans with 1 cup of broth in a blender.
You don’t need to puree the beans, and you could sub kale or green cabbage for the spinach. If you’re a vegetarian, use vegetable broth and leave out the turkey sausage. The fresh Parmesan cheese rind is a must. It infuses the soup with a delicious cheesy flavor. If you can’t find a rind, substitute a 2-inch chunk of cheese.
I served it piping hot with fresh Parm grated on top and rye bread.
What’s your all-time favorite soup? When I was a kid, my dad used to make ham and bean soup with the leftover holiday ham. It was the ultimate comfort food and when I think about it, I’m reminded of happy childhood memories. I think because of that, it is my all-time fave. 🙂