Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Classic Make-Ahead Minestrone Soup

I love soup, it is suppose to be an easy, healthy meal. However at times I look up recipes and realize there are more steps than dumping the ingredients into a pot and heating it up. That leaves me with the option of store brand soup which typically are tasteless and minimal. So I set out to find a wonderful soup that will fit into my busy schedule and fill me up!

Make Ahead Minestrone Soup

Why I like this recipe:
  • It is in the title! Make-ahead: I do love a make-ahead meal recipe! This is frozen and you just have to pull it out of the freeze, thaw, and warm up for delicious homemade soup! 
  • Since I freeze this and it is make ahead, it is perfect if I am preparing an Italian themed dinner with guests. All the stress of hosting is so much easier if you have things made ahead of time to eliminate the things to do day off. 
  • This sounds like a silly reason to like a recipe, but once I'm done chopping, I put the ingredients immediately into the pot. No setting aside and adding at different times! Saves on dishes and having to think about where you put those pesky little carrots. 
  • The Parmesan cheese rind really brings out a wonderful texture and flavor to the soup! 
Minestrone Soup
  • 1 leeks, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 28 oz whole tomatoes, drained (reserve sauce), roughly chopped
  • 8 cups of water
  • Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15 oz can of cannellini beans, drained and washed
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto (or a rosemary, garlic, and olive oil mixture)
Add the diced vegetables, tomatoes, water, cheese rind, and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. (See picture for the size of each diced vegetable) Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow it to simmer for an hour. The vegetables should be tender, but not falling apart. If the mixture looks too think, add some of the reserved tomato sauce for liquid. Allow the mixture to cool and freeze for up to a month (or refrigerate up to 3 days.)

Cut Vegetables for Soup

Thaw the soup if frozen, and return to a large pot. Add the beans and spinach and heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot from the heat, discard the cheese rind, and add the basil pesto. Adjust any seasonings to taste, and serve!



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