Is your crisper currently bursting at the seams? Good! There’s a soup for that!
We couldn’t keep our hands off this soup!
This hearty vegetarian minestrone soup is the perfect use for all your favorite seasonal veggies. It’ll fill you up without weighing you down so take a break from the turkey, put down the pie, and sneak this light and tasty soup onto your weekday menu!
Soup, to me, has always been a warm hug on a cold day. With the winter chill finally starting to set in, I’ll take all the hugs I can get! The recipe below makes a giant pot that’s perfect to share and makes glorious leftovers for the following days. Bring a bowl to work for lunch or curl up with a bowl after a long day for dinner. Add a few slices of crusty baguette with butter and you have the recipe for the most divine comfort food coma.
Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup
Yield 2 .5 quarts
- 1-2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion [approx 1/2 a large onion]
- 1 cup diced celery [approx 2 large stalks]
- 1 cup diced red bell pepper [approx 1 pepper]
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 2-4 large cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce [I used Muir Glen's BPA-free sauce]
- 1 [15 oz] can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, or salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 1/8 tsp dried oregano
- 1 or 1+ 1/2 cups ditalini pasta, or equivalent
- 1 french or italian-style baguette [the fresher the better!]
- softened sweet cream butter
- feeling fancy? whip softened butter with your favorite pesto and serve with the baguette, dunked in the soup sandwich-style
- Heat 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.
- Add the onions, carrots, celery, butternut squash and bell pepper, and cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, approx 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic towards the end to prevent burning.
- Next add your tomato sauce and 5 cups of vegetable broth [save the other cup to add later if desired] along with your bay leaf, garlic powder, basil, and oregano.
- Save the salt for the end and season to taste.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- While your soup simmers, bring a pot of water to boil and cook your pasta if you . Some recipes swear by adding the raw noodles to the soup towards the end to add to the thickness of the soup but I always find the result to be a bit slimy and the noodles soak up a ridiculous amount of the broth. For best taste and results, I cook my noodles separately. It's an extra step [and pot] but 100% worth it to me for the difference it makes with soups like minestrone that are a perfect combination of brothy and chunky!
- Discard the bay leaf.
- Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through.
- If the soup is too thick, add an extra cup of vegetable broth.
- Depending on the saltiness of your beans, tomato sauce, and broth, you'll want to salt the soup based on personal preference. That may mean no salt at all, just a pinch, or 1/2 tsp like I used. Let your tastebuds be your guide!
- Serve with slices of crusty baguette spread with your favorite butter.
adapted from Ina Garten
vegansaurus chefs: this one’s for you!
gluten-free: grab your favorite GF noodles and trade-out/skip the baguette
so… how was it? AMAZING! I wasn’t joking when I called this soup a warm hug! I had originally intended to freeze the leftovers, but P and I picked up an extra french baguette and scarfed this soup 1-2 times a day for 4 days until it was gone. I think it’s safe to say we loved it!