Vegetable Minestrone

We have been eating a lot of soup lately. I could attribute it to the weather (soup is always good when it’s cold outside) but it also is because soup is generally an easy vegetarian dish.

This is also an easy dish to make vegan, just by omitting the cheese. There are vegan cheeses that you can try if you’re feeling adventurous. The ones I’ve had are actually pretty good.

Vegetable Minestrone

Serves 6
Calories/serving: 300

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, including the leaves, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 potato, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary needles, crushed
1 (14-16 oz) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
1 cup water
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (20 oz) can kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup orzo or other small pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1) In large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and potato, stirring until the mixture begins to brown (about five minutes). Add rosemary and cook, stirring, for about 10 seconds.

2) Add tomatoes with their juice and the water and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.

3) Add broth and beans, bring mixture to a rolling boil, and sprinkle pasta over the surface.

4) Lower heat and simmer soup, partially covered, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle top of each bowl with cheese before serving.

**Recipe adapted from Okay, So Now You’re a Vegetarian. I love this cookbook. It’s meant for teens, but if you’re just starting to learn to cook, and just starting to be a vegetarian, it is perfect.

The only change I made to this recipe was to leave out the beans. I really don’t like beans that much, so I leave them out whenever possible. Because of that I added a little more pasta than what was called for in the original recipe.

I used little wagon wheel pasta because that is what we had in the house, leftover from a casserole I had made a few weeks before.

This recipe really isn’t hard to make, but all the chopping of the veggies takes forever. Chad finally remembered that we have a food processor, and it went a lot faster after that. 🙂

The soup itself was pretty good. Next time I would probably halve the amount of onion, but that’s just me. Overall it was a good meal and I’m sure I’ll end up making it again. It was definitely husband approved.

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