One of my FAVORITE Italian dishes is Minestrone. First off, it is DELICIOUS beyond comparison, second, it's surprisingly healthy, even though it tastes like a comfort food. It's the perfect soup for cold season, and beyond!
Minestrone is a dish that translates to "serving" and "big." You'll almost never find a small recipe for Minestrone, because it is intended to serve a crowd. The Italians believe that food is family. Not because your steaks and broccoli are your family, but because food is something that is made to be shared. You share food with family, and close friends. That's why there are no small Italian recipes! Go big or go home!
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, diced
- 6 cups broth (vegetable is best)
- 2 1/2 cups 3/4-inch potatoes
- 2 1/2 cups 3/4-inch diced butternut squash
- 1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced into half moons or quarters
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary or oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup dry ditalini pasta (optional)
- 2 cups packed chopped kale without thick ribs
- 1 (14.5 oz) can red or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots and saute 3 minutes then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Stir in vegetable broth, potatoes, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil then and stir in pasta if using. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and and simmer until veggies are nearly tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in kale and kidney beans and cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove bay leaves, serve warm with Parmesan cheese.
Because this is "big serving," cutting the recipe in half is not allowed! No cheating, unless you're cheating on your diet ;)
XOXO - Darbie