Snow Day! Time for Soup!

Woke up to a beautiful snow covered world!  Better yet, school is canceled.  That means I’m going to have to make lunch, as well as dinner!  OK, let’s do this!  I have a fabulous minestrone soup that I’ve adapted over the years from a recipe of Yocheved Hirsch.    I used to make it once a year, because it had so many ingredients, and it felt so cumbersome to put together.  I’ve made a number of shortcuts so that I can enjoy it more frequently.  Today is a perfect day to make it. It yields a very large pot of soup (so it’s worth the effort!), and freezes well.

Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

1/3 C. olive oil

4 carrots,  diced

3 celery stalks, diced

3 yellow onions, diced

3  leeks, white part only, diced

2  potatoes, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced (fresh or frozen)

2 tsp. herbs de provence (or any dried herb such as basil or oregano)

2 cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 C. green beans, cut into 1″ pieces (fresh or frozen)

10 C. chicken,  vegetable stock or water (can use boxed, low sodium)

1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz.)

1 medium zucchini, diced

10 oz. bag of washed baby spinach (can use box of frozen, defrosted and squeezed dry)

1/2 cup cooked pasta (elbow or ditalini) use whole wheat!

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large stock pot.  Add carrots, celery, onions, leeks potatoes and garlic. Saute about 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.  Add dried herbs.  Saute another minute until fragrant.  Add cannellini, beans, green beans, stock, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 45 minutes until vegetables are soft.   Add zucchini, spinach and pasta.  Simmer an additional 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper as desired. Flavor improves with age (although my kids are eating it right now, out of the pot!)  Serve with alongside grilled cheese on whole wheat bread, and lunch it is! Or…dinner it is! Enjoy!