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Kitchen Sink Minestrone

It's been a long day. I dragged my (decidedly not morning-oriented) butt out of bed at 6:45 to go running before it got too hot, then came home and did my strength training (except for the squats, because my thighs were weeping tears of pain). After cleaning myself up I walked down to the farmer's market to pick up a few things. It was crowded, so I tried to get in an out as quickly as possible, but I still came out with a pretty good haul: garlic, parsley, zucchini, red and green peppers, shallots, onions, green beans, dried basil and oregano, cherries, and strawberries. And then I had to carry all of this home. I don't live far from the market, but it's uphill coming home and being loaded down with bags in the heat makes for a somewhat unpleasant journey.

When I got home I put away what I didn't need and then assembled my ingredients, washing and chopping and draining and mixing. I fired up the stove, and less than an hour later I had...


A huge pot of minestrone! It made a lot more than I expected - 12 cups, in fact. I thought about freezing some, but I figure that Adam and I can probably get through it in a few days. Once things go into my freezer I tend to forget they exist. Here's a shot of the bowl I had for lunch, and a recipe:


Kitchen Sink Minestrone

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 zucchini, sliced into rounds or half-rounds depending on the size
2 large carrots, sliced into rounds
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium red potato (6 oz), chopped
1 c green beans, cut into 1-1 1/2'' pieces
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup (5 oz) ditalini or other small pasta
6 c vegetable stock
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp Spike seasoning (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and saute until soft. Add the carrots, basil, oregano, and Spike (if using) and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini, potatoes, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and vegetable stock and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper to taste and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, for another 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how big your pasta is. Stir the soup a few times during all of these steps.

Garnish with parsley and eat.

Makes 12 cups.

Notes: Next time I think I'm going to add a can of crushed tomatoes in place of the tomato sauce and see if that gives me a thicker broth. I'll update the recipe if it works out well, but it's tasty this way too. You could use any kind of beans or vegetables in this, really - which is why I gave it the "kitchen sink" title. Spinach would be a nice addition. As for the salt, I probably used about a tsp. That's what I used when I calculated the nutritional info.

Nutritional Information: 163 calories, 2.2 g fat (.25 g sat fat), 496.4 mg sodium, 31 g carbs, 6.1 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 7.2 g protein, 37.5% vitamin A, 51.6% vitamin C, 6% calcium, and 10.5% iron @ 1 cup per serving.

This was an excellent lunch. And now I'm exhausted... just in time for work! Awesome.

I have to say that that is probably the best photo of a bowl of minestrone that I have ever seen. It's hard to make soup look good, but you definitely have a talent. (And the recipe looks yummy too!)

If you want to thicken the soup try adding tomato paste. my mother swears by the stuff says it thickens tomato based sauces like nobodys business

As always tres beau photo!

susanv - Thank you! That means quite a bit coming from you, since I always think the photos on your blog are wonderful. :)

jessie - Thanks! And I totally did try the tomato paste. I added it late in the game when I was trying to thicken it up a bit... it helped, but I think the paste:soup ration was just not high enough. I think using crushed tomatoes plus a bit of tomato paste will give me a broth I'm happier with.

What a day for you! Wow! Way to get up early and move the bod. Good for you, vc. Nice looking soup there filled with some of the best things in the whole wide WORLD! Thank you for sharing that bounty so beautifully...

Ugh...I had a similar day. Early morning exercise, but then that whiped me out and I had not energy left for the rest of the day.

Soup looks great. I have heard that grated or pureed zucchini can act as a good thickener?!? I've never tried it though.

kleo - Thanks! Soup is one way that I can eat almost any vegetable. They all just taste better once they're mixed together in there. :)

megan - I've never heard the zucchini thing. Usually I find zucchini pretty bland so I don't eat much of it, but it's a must for me in minestrone. Early morning exercise feels great, but unfortunately it usually does make me pretty tired for the rest of the day. I don't get enough sleep for it to work that well.

I am printing off this soup recipe because I know I would really like this. Big hearty soups are wonderful. Your picture is great too. Looks very pro.
I HAVE to comment on your cake below. Holy doodle! It looks fab!I'm also a huge fan of chocolate and orange. I love marmalade and using it between the cake layers is a great idea. Can you ship me a slice? :o)

I am so past the trying to be a morning person thing. I am going to be content with doing the pm workout thing. If I make time before dinner I still have enough energy to get through the rest of my day and I'm not jumping off the workout energy at bedtime.

carrie - Aw, thanks! I hope you like the soup if you make it. It's very very flexible, so you know, throw whatever you've got in. I love soup. Unfortunately I can't send you any cake - it's all in our tummies by now. :)

jessie - Ha, I know, I should probably stop trying to be an A.M. kinda girl, but I can't help it. I just feel like I get so much more done if I'm up early. Plus then it's done and out of the way before the day really even begins.

Vegancore... I'm exhausted just READING about your day! A usual - beautiful photos. I don't know how you do it!

Thank you! :)

I'm a lurker but I figured I should finally say something now that I've made something of yours last night:

... your minestrone, which actually turned into a kind of risotto, but it was SO delicious. My family loved it. Your photos are so pretty too! I love reading your blog.

Katherine
http://figandflower.diaryland.com

Your soup looks delicious. You always plate your food so nicely. Looks fantastic in the picture.

Katherine - Risotto? Huh. How'd that happen? That's really weird. Mine is definitely soup. But I'm glad it was a hit, in any case. I'm always afraid that stuff I make for myself isn't good enough for other people to eat. Thanks for commenting! :)

vegan diva - Thanks!

Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, and this looks just beautiful! I’ll definitely be making this sometime, perhaps with some spinach added. Thanks for the recipe.

You're welcome! I hope you like it. I think spinach would be a really nice addition; I'm adding some next time I make it.

Looks delicous.. Minestrone is one of my favorites... mmmm.. although, I can't believe you're eating soup in this weather!

I guess it is too hot for soup... but dinner is usually a hot meal anyway, and soup is better than roasting potatoes or something. At least this way it's just one burner and not the oven.

Hey, thanks for posting the recipe to this awesome looking minestrone! I'm definitely saving this one for a cooler day!

The photos of your previous sweets posts are so lovely and tempting!

Thank you! I hope you like the recipe if you do try it out.

i love minestrone and after seeing lots of pics and raves about it at a fab vegan forum i decided to make it! i'm pregnant and easily confused lately, so i actually did a 28oz can of crushed and an 8oz can of tomato paste and it was nice and thick that way. i also doubled the pasta cause i like pasta :)

my omni stepson ate a bit, but as he claims to hate beans, green beans, etc, he didn't finish it and grimaced towards the end (what does he know, hot dogs are his fav food), but my omni hubby liked it. and i've got lots of leftovers - hurray! :)

If it's the PPK you're talking about, then I'm active on that board as well. :) I'm glad it worked out well for you. Your stepson needs to learn to love beans! They're magical, after all.

I think I ended up here via a link from slashfood a while ago, but I had to finally comment because I've made this soup twice and it is awesome. I think I substituted chicken broth for veg because I'm not vegan but otherwise I made no changes. Best lunch ever. (I freeze it into individual containers and then have many weeks' worth of lunches for work.)

Minestrone is BEST thickened by beans in the broth and dump all that in a food processer, leave whatever half the beans u dont use out and throw em in whole

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