The throw-it-all-in-a-pot minestrone

Back to the weather! I’ve been asked to post a soup recipe. Makes sense, doesn’t it? For this kind of super-cold winter weather, there really is nothing like soup. If you are feeling really energetic, do try making ribollita, one of the heartiest, insides-warming soups you will every make.

But not everyone has the time or ingredients to whip up ribollita, so I am going to share with you my “whatever’s in the fridge” minestrone soup. The basic recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens recipe book, but I have taken it in all sorts of directions and I very rarely make it the same way twice. The basic broth with the onions, tomato, zucchini and cabbage, and the additional spaghetti bits get built on top of with whatever veggies you have in your fridge. Have fun with it and add whatever you love.

Stay warm!

BASIC MINESTRONE

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves crushed garlic

1 medium onion, chopped

3 medium carrots diced

3 sticks of celery diced

1 large red or sweet pepper diced – optional

½ teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon sugar

2 liters broth (chicken or vegetarian)

1 medium zucchini diced

4-5 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped or one can 400 g  (14 oz) of crushed tomatoes

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

About a cup of spaghetti broken into small pieces

1 400 g (14 oz) can red beans, rinsed and drained (not baked beans) – optional

1 cup green beans cut into small pieces (frozen is good)

How to do it

1. In a large pot, heat the oil and saute the onions, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic until just soft.

2. Add the tomatoes, herbs, sugar, broth and green beans and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add the zucchini, cabbage, red beans and spaghetti and bring to the boil again. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the spaghetti is tender.

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