Easy Green Minestrone
You could just as easily add diced zucchini, fresh fava beans, or anything else in season — just be sure to adjust the cooking times to match the vegetables you use. This makes a light, but very filling, vegetarian dinner that's perfect for a summer evening. Once we head into winter, I'm thinking that I might add some crumbled sausage or bacon to make it a bit heartier. I also added a parmesan rind to the broth as it simmered for an extra boost of savory flavor.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dry)
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 pound waxy red potatoes (4-5 small potatoes), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound small-shaped pasta, like shells or elbow macaroni
- 6 ounces greens, like spinach, kale, or chard, cut into ribbons
- 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, like Great Northern or cannellini, drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese, optional, to serve
Adapted from thekitchn.com
In a large soup pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and cook until the onion and celery are soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme, and bay leaf, and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the chicken broth, the potatoes, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for 5 minutes. Add the green beans and simmer for another 5 to 10 minuets, until both the potatoes and the green beans are tender.
While the soup is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and set aside.
When the vegetables are tender, stir the greens and the white beans into the soup. Simmer until the greens are wilted and tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, add a scoop of pasta to each bowl and ladle the soup over top. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and pesto over top, if using. Store pasta and soup leftovers separately; they will keep refrigerated for 1 week.
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