Soup can be a great starter for a meal or the meal itself. This minestrone soup recipe can do both – really! If you have never made soup before, fear not young soup Jedi! Soup making easy it is.
This soup is done in 3 steps (no gimmick!). The trick to good soup is to substitute to your own tastes. If kale makes you gag, then leave it out. If you want to sneak in a vegetable that your family is refusing to eat… soup is a great place to drop it in. This recipe has been adapted from the Liquor Commission Board of Ontario (LCBO)’s Food & Drink magazine (Autumn 2008).
- 3 tbsp (45ml) olive oil (not the fancy stuff – just regular olive oil)
- 1 cup (250 ml) diced onion (about one and a half regular onions): see Tip 2
- 1 cup (250 ml) diced carrots
- 1 tbsp (15ml) chopped garlic: see Tip 2
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 yellow summer squash, diced (I like butternut squash)
- 2 tsp (10 ml) fresh thyme (or dried…)
- ¼ tsp (1ml) red pepper flakes
- ½ cup chopped kale (or baby bok choy)
- One 450 ml can white kidney beans, drained
- One 341 ml can of corn niblets, drained
- 1 ½ cups (375 ml) canned tomatoes with their juices, broken up
- 1 cup of broccoli or cauliflower or both
- 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Tip 1: Cut everything first and then just dump it in as the recipe calls for it. This will avoid you trying to cut quickly while something is cooking and putting you under pressure.
Tip 2: You can cut everything yourself or… I have found the mini chopper that I normally use for nuts to be perfect for chopping the onion and garlic. I throw the bowl and knife in the dishwasher after which eliminates the onion/garlic smell. You can also buy pre-chopped veggies in the salad section of most grocery stores. This will cut down on your time substantially and you will still make a delicious home-cooked soup.
Step 1: Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and garlic and sauté over low heat for 10 minutes or until softened. Add zucchini and summer squash and sauté another 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add thyme and red pepper flakes and stir to coat vegetables.
Step 2: Continue to dump….Add kale, beans, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, and stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 20 to 30 minutes or until everything is soft and soup looks yummy. Season well with salt and pepper. And Enjoy!
Step 3: If soup is too thick then add water
Tip 3: For a hearty meal add cooked pasta or cooked chicken (or both).
Serves 8. This soup freezes very well and stays in the fridge for over a week so it can be made in advance. It can also be a great activity to do with the kids- get them to peel and dice, mix and taste test.