Sunday, December 27, 2009

Minestrone Soup

Today was a cold day, and I was craving soup. However, I was low on groceries. I made minestrone with what was in the back of the refrigerator produce bin---and it turned out to be delicious.

pasta pot full of veggie broth
pinch Italian seasoning
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, diced fine
1 cup frozen chopped spinach
8 oz dry egg noodles
2 onions, diced fine
3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
few grinds of fresh pepper
pinch of salt

Before I get to the recipe, I have to talk about one of my most favorite things. Trader Joe's makes these little packets of concentrated vegetable broth. They come in a small green box. Inside are a dozen tubes of...vegetable syrup? Basically, that's what it is. Really concentrated, thick broth. You add 1 tube to 1 cup of water. They save sooooo much cabinet space, are very light to carry, and are perfect for backpacking meals. Also, they have amazing flavor and are low-sodium. Can you tell how much I love them?
So anyway, that intro is just to say--when I made this recipe, I used a pasta pot full of water with 4 or 5 packets of broth mixed in.

1. Bring the broth to a simmer. Add a small pinch of Italian seasoning ground between your fingers. As the broth is heating, dice the celery, then add it to the pot.

2. Dice the carrots, and sautee them in a tablespoon of olive oil. (Don't skimp on the olive oil, it's the only fat in the dish.) While the carrots cook, dice the onions and garlic.

3. When the carrots are "al dente", add them to the pot, and saute the onions and garlic in the pan. When the garlic and onions are translucent, add them to the pot along with the frozen spinach, and bring the pot to a boil.

4. Add the egg noodles and cook according to package directions. (Mine only took 4 minutes.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.

P.S. This was so good that after we ate the whole pot for lunch, I turned around and made another batch before the stove cooled down. Now that is a good recipe.

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