I've said it before and I will say it again, I love soup! Especially soup that is filling and hearty but also packed with healthy veggies and homemade broth.
Here is my take on minestrone - I know there are a bunch of different ways to make this classic but I ended up using a lot of what I had leftover in my fridge (for example, leeks and potatoes) which you can omit. You can also add whatever other vegetables you want to the soup. It will come out delicious!
1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, 1 inch pieces
2 celery stalks, 1/2 inch pieces
4 large carrots, small dice
1 large spanish or white onion, small dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium sized Idaho potatoes, medium dice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper to taste
2 quarts of chicken (or vegetable stock to make this vegan)
1 can of beans (kidney, cannellini, Great Northern, etc.)
pinch of fresh rosemary and basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 cups dried small pasta (like Ditalini)
In a large stock pot, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and add the leeks, celery, carrots and onion. Let them soften for a few minutes on medium heat.
After the onions start to look translucent (5-6 minutes), add the potatoes and minced garlic.
Next, season with salt and pepper and add in the tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste until it is well combined and coating the vegetables. This will cause the paste heat up thoroughly and create great flavor.
Add the can of tomatoes to the pot. Then, fill up that can with water and pour that in as well.
Season with salt again, and stir everything to combine.
Next, add the chicken stock. If you want to make this dish vegan all you have to do is use vegetable broth instead!
Bring the soup to a boil, then lower it to a simmer.
Add the beans and herbs. Taste the soup for seasoning again - you may have to add more salt. Let the soup simmer on medium-low heat for 25 minutes.
In a separate pot, cook the pasta per the instructions on the box, but make sure the pasta is very al dente - it will continue to cook in the soup (whether you want it to or not!)
Lastly, turn the soup off the heat and spoon in the strained pasta.
Top with fresh basil and enjoy!