Tuesday, November 8, 2011


It's just a bowl of soup.

Packed with kidney beans, carrots, spinach and a rich tomato broth.

Basil and oregano and thyme and crushed red pepper flakes.

A splash of balsamic for a little bit of zing.

Yeah, this soup's got it goin' on.

This is my staple winter soup. It's quick (especially if you use canned beans), hearty enough to pair with a nice hunk of crusty buttered bread, and is highly versatile.  In other words, you can throw this together with whatever bits you have in your fridge, it will be ready in less than a half hour and will fill you up good.

It's also supercheap, so you can eat this all week when you just spent all your money on booze and that $40 bottle of cold pressed organic extra virgin olive oil with the pretty label that you HAD. TO. HAVE.

Minestrone  (serves 4)

3 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic (about 2 T.), minced
1-16 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or appx. 2 1/2 c. cooked beans)
1- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 c. vegetable broth
2 c. chopped spinach
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 t. dried basil
2 t. dried oregano
2 t. dried thyme
2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 T. balsamic vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, carrot, basil, thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the kidney beans, broth and crushed tomatoes. Cover, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, then uncover and cook the soup for an additional ten minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar.

This recipe is a basic template.  You could switch up the beans, using chickpeas or cannelini. Throw in some kale or chard or maybe some red bell pepper.  Or if you want to make it even heartier you could add some cooked pasta or top it with some croutons.

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