January 31, 2013

Lazy Parent's Minestrone

Minestrone-style bean and vegetable soup, kiwi, whole rye cracker with butter
We like minestrone. Long lists of ingredients, we like less. Ditto time-consuming recipes. Traditional minestrone, done well, requires standing sensitively over the stove for a while, adding ingredients in turn so that nothing turns to mush. It's really more of a job for people without toddlers.

Once I realized I could get the same rich, herb-y flavor as traditional minestrone with about half the ingredients and a seriously simplified cooking process, I got back on the minestrone bandwagon.

Of course, power to you if you want to throw in a handful of spinach, chopped green beans, whole wheat pasta, or zucchini. As is, this minimalist revision tastes like the real thing, and still fills little bellies with a good variety of veggies.

Lazy Parent's Minestrone
Serves 4

1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
1 15-oz can chopped or crushed tomatoes, with juice (if BPA concerns you, use Muir Glen or Pomi brand)
3 cups cooked, drained kidney beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 cups vegetable broth or water

Saute onion, celery, and carrots in a swirl of extra virgin olive oil until translucent, about ten minutes.

Add broth, beans, tomatoes, garlic, and dried spices, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.

Remove from heat and stir in parsley just before serving. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese for extra Yum.

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