One of the most important lessons I learned from my mother is to be resourceful. During this uncertain corona virus lockdown we are forced to be more resourceful with cooking. So I prepared this comforting minestrone soup just from what I have in the pantry. You can easily adjust and substitute most of the ingredients depending on what you have.
Gong to the store to shop for groceries last week was challenging. It was like Armageddon! Shelves were mostly empty, yet so many people were lining up just to get something. There were many things I was looking for on my list but couldn’t find them. So I quickly grabbed anything useable that they had.
You can feel the situation is getting worse than we thought. Now there is a line just to get in a store. But I’m staying positive, doing the best we can to get through this situation.
In this minestrone recipe you can substitute or add more vegetables such as peas or spinach. For the fresh herbs, you can certainly use dried Italian seasoning if that’s what you have. I only use fresh herbs because I happen to have them growing in my garden. Any kind of small pasta will work too. As for the beans, you can use canned cannellini in place of red beans. I added tomato paste for a deeper robust flavor and color.
This comforting soup is just what we need in this time of anxiety. As we all know, food is comfort to us. Like my grandmother used to say, you feel better after you eat this soup. I do enjoy it sometimes with a crusty bread or garlic bread.
I hope that you will try making this minestrone soup. It’s so easy to prepare and the ingredients are simple. Now that everyone’s staying home indefinitely, let’s all cook and feed our families. I hope everyone is safe.
114.5 oz. canned diced tomatoeswith basil, oregano, garlic*
114.5 oz. can of red beansrinsed and drained
32oz.low sodium chicken stock
3fresh thyme sprigs
3fresh parsley sprigs
1/2cupfreshly grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepperto taste
2small zucchiniquartered lengthwise and chopped
Heat olive oil in pot on medium-high heat. Cook onion in oil for 2 minutes on medium heat. Stir in garlic and let cook for 1 minute. Add in carrots and celery and cook it for another 2 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste and let cook for 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, and parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cover pot and let it come to a boil on high. When it comes to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add in pasta, cover again and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then stir in red beans and zucchini. Cover it and let cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese on top.
*Canned plain diced tomatoes can be substituted, just add 3/4 tsp of dried Italian seasoning instead of the fresh herbs.