The Country Cook: Minestrone Soup

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Minestrone Soup

Spring, here we come! That springin' ahead time change always does a number on my internal clock. But I tell ya, I just love having more daylight hours. I think I can find something to love about most seasons. Plus, having different seasons helps me to appreciate the one that is coming around the corner. But the main thing about winter that can easily give me the blues is the lack of daylight. I am definitely a solar-powered gal. I need that sun and light. Like, I NEED it bad, man. It gives me motivation to get my butt moving in the morning. It just feels good to step out of the house with the sun on my face. I know many of y'all can relate.
When we first moved to England in October 1998, it was very grey and cloudy there for a couple of months straight.  That's when I learned of something called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Not only was I missing home and adjusting to living in a new country, but I learned how much sunlight can affect your mood. I was in a funk for what felt like ages. But now, when I feel it coming on, I know I gotta fight against it. A healthy dose of some sort of physical exercise can usually help. And making sure I get plenty of time outdoors when the sun is actually out. I've also been taking some Vitamin D3 supplements for about a year now and that seems to have helped tremendously.

Anyhow, with sun and spring, comes gardening and vegetables and fruits. And that got me to thinking about making a yummy vegetable soup to celebrate. Note: as fresh veggies come into season, feel free to substitute those in this recipe. Some chopped squash or zucchini work really well in this. Minestrone soup is basically just a tomato-based vegetable soup with pasta added. It's a simple and humble dish that can easily be tailored to your tastes.
2 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
1 (32 oz.) box vegetable broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced Italian style tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes or tomato soup
2 cups water
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 cup rotini pasta (uncooked)
1 (15.5 oz.) can canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen green beans
salt & pepper, to taste

In a large pot, over medium heat, pour in 2 tbsp. oil. Add in diced celery, carrots and onion. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. During the last two minutes of cooking, add in garlic and stir.
Pour in vegetable broth,
 crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes,
 and water.
 Add in Italian seasoning.
Then pour in uncooked rotini pasta. Give it all a good stir.
Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes,  or until pasta starts to become tender.
This is a good time to drain and rinse your canellini beans if you haven't done so already.
Then add in canellini beans and frozen green beans.
Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes or until green beans are tender. Now, give it a taste. I always find that I need to add a bit more salt to the pot.
Then serve. This is delicious served with garlic bread or a side salad. Also, try adding some shredded Parmesan cheese on top to really add to the flavor!


  1. Wonderful recipe to make for my elderly mother in law during Lent, as well as any time. She loves soup, and this will be perfect!
    Let me say once again how much I love your blog, Brandie. I tend to keep several of your daily emails in my inbox to just keep poring over them!

  2. hello , im not soup person im i would lov to try this , thank u

  3. Thank you so much Deb! That really means so much to me! ((HUGS)) ~Brandie

  4. how would I make this in the slow cooker?

    1. I'm also wondering how this would be done in the crock pot ? Love the fact that my food cooks while we're at work and all we have to worry about is eating it ! Thanks Brandie!

    2. I think you could just throw everything in the crock pot (minus the pasta) and let it simmer away on low for about 4 hours. Then during the last hour, add in the uncooked pasta and let it cook until tender. Hope that helps and hope you love it!

  5. Thanks Brandie !!! I love your blog and I make your food all the time!! Keep the soups coming!!!


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