Italian Peasant Soup (Minestrone)
Traditionally, this humble soup was made by Italian peasants who would usually have all these ingredients on hand. For me, it’s warm and comforting meal that I welcome pretty much anytime!
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 2 carrots sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced, about 1/2 tsp.
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme or oregano
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use any variety)
- 15 oz. canned cannellini or pinto beans (or use 1 1/2 cups home-cooked beans for every 15 oz. can) drained and rinsed
- 14 oz. diced tomatoes with their liquid, or use 4 - 5 chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper or to taste
- 1 cup mezzi tubetti noodles (little tubes) or elbow macaroni, be sure to use a small noodle for this soup, as a large noodle will absorb too much liquid
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or to taste (optional)
- In a Dutch oven or stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook them, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, basil, and thyme or oregano and stir it for a minute until it is fragrant.
- Add the broth, 2 1/4 cups water, beans, tomatoes, and pepper, and bring it to a boil. Simmer it for 10 minutes, and then add the noodles.
- Continue to simmer it for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the noodles are tender, stirring it occasionally. Season it with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve it in bowls, topped with the cheese, if desired, refrigerate the soup for up to 1 day, or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Add all ingredients except the pasta and cheese to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 - 6 hours. Add uncooked pasta and cook on high 1/2 hour more. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Dice the onion, slice the celery and the carrots, peel the garlic, grate the Parmesan if necessary and refrigerate, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the soup. Scramble Flavor Booster: Stir fresh slivered basil into the soup before serving, and serve it with hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco, at the table. Tip: For an even healthier and more colorful version, stir in fresh baby spinach to the soup before serving. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 160, Total Fat: 3g, 5%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 3%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 390mg, 16%; Total Carbohydrate: 24g, 8%; Dietary Fiber: 5g, 20%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 8g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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