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Minestrone Soup!

Minestrone Soup (Picture Taken by Me!) 

 
My most favorite recipe I’ve ever made has to be Minestrone Soup. It was actually one of the first soups I’ve ever made in my life. I had it once at Olive Garden, and from the on out, I was hooked! I knew I had to make it myself, so I searched and searched online for a good enough recipe, and finally I found one, but I changed it up quite a bit. And this is what you can do too once I give you the recipe.

 

Now here’s what you’re going to need:

Vegetable Broth (Enough to to make it soupy and cover all veggies, about 5-6 cans)
4-5 (or more, if you wish) large Potatoes (Skins removed, or kept, and chopped into small, not too small, pieces)
Okra (A handful perhaps, canned or fresh, though fresh is better)
Garlic (4-5 cloves, more or less if you want. I like more.)
Onions (1 medium)
Shredded Carrots
Diced Tomatoes (Omit, if you want OR use as much as you’d like.)
1-2 cups pasta (Shells or small pasta, pick your favorite. Whole wheat ones are good too, especially Ronzoni Whole Wheat egg noodles)
1/2 can Black Beans (or whichever bean you prefer, and use more or less as desired)
2 tbsp Olive Oil


Of course all of the above are rough estimates. That’s the beauty with this soup. You can’t really go wrong with it. Although when it comes to the vegetables in it, you don’t want too many different types of vegetables. In that case, it gets too many flavors and is overwhelming. But I must say, okra is amazing in soup. Yes, random, but I had to say it. I digressed but...When it comes to this soup, it’s important to have all the vegetables covered with broth. If the soup is too packed and crowded, it won’t cook correctly (I’ve done it before).

Now before I go on to the directions, here are some spices you will need.

2 tbsp dried Parsley
1 & 1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp dried Basil
1/4 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 & 1/2 tsp Salt

SPICES ARE EXACT! DO NOT USE LESS OR MORE! Of course, unless you want less salt, that is. I am just saying this because I’ve varied the spices every single time, and the soup hasn’t been as good as when I followed the spices spot on. Don’t leave out any of them, or it tempers with the flavor big time, trust me. I am an experienced Minestrone soup maker (lol). I’m not kidding though; I’ve been making it for 3 years straight, so I’m just giving you my experience and heads up. I’m not quite sure about doubling the recipe though. Those of you who are experienced can answer this question for me: Do you double the spices when you double the recipe?



Here we go, the Directions:

1) Dice the garlic and onions. Then on medium heat in the pot, saute them with the shredded carrots in the olive oil (Yes, you must use olive oil or the soup will be very, very bland without it) until aromatic and clear, perhaps ten minutes. You will know when it’s done.

If you are substituting in some stuff, this is when you should add things like celery, etc..

2) Add some broth (not all or you will splash some up on you). Then, add chopped potatoes, diced tomatoes, beans, okra, and spices. Now add the rest of your broth. See? Now you won’t have broth splashing up all over yourself!

In this step, you can add any variations such as green beans, peas pods, etc. If you don’t have okra, use green beans or whatever you prefer.

3) Bring to a boil and simmer for 30. At this time, add the pasta and simmer 20-30 more minutes.
 

When the soup is done, all the vegetables should be tender, especially the potatoes. If the pasta isn’t quite done, cook the soup longer.


Happy Soup Making,
~Kai

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