2 tblsp. (25 ml) Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped (sometimes I use the mini carrots, and then I just chop up about 10-15 of those)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock
1 28 oz can (796-ml) Fire Roasted Tomatoes and liquid, chopped (You can use plain canned tomatoes if you can't find the fire roasted, but I will tell you that the fire roasted tomatoes make ALL the difference. Using the fire roasted canned tomatoes is what makes this soup really flavorful. The fire roasted tomatoes ARE the secret!)
1 tsp (5mL) dried basil
1 tsp (5mL) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili pepper flakes (These are optional. I don't use them because my son is allergic to chili pepper, but I'm sure it would be excellent if you like a bit a spice.)
1 package spinach, fresh or frozen
1 zucchini, chopped
1-2 yellow squash, chopped
1 19 oz can (540mL) Great Northern Beans
salt and pepper to taste
Optional, shredded white vegan cheese of your choice or vegan parmesan to top the soup with.
1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Saute for five minutes or until softened.
2. Add the stock, tomatoes (with the liquid,) basil, oregano, chili pepper, spinach, zucchini, and yellow squash. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes.
3. Add the beans. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for five-ten minutes, or until all veggies are tender.
4. Put bowl, sprinkle with topping of choice, and serve.
And that's it. . .Super easy, and surprisingly fast!
Often times I will serve it over rice just to make it a bit heartier (though this soup is so chunky and thick, I finally started calling it stew.) My hubby loves it over rice and now days that's usually how we eat it.
Also. . .This is really one of those gardener's soup recipes. . .you can add to it whatever you have in your fridge. . .It's great with mushrooms. You could even add potatoes if you wanted. You can also be creative with the herbs you add. I only listed the oregano and the basil, but to be honest, I throw in whatever herbs strike my fancy for extra flavor. Any italian seasoning will work good. You could put in a bay leaf or a stick of rosemary (usually one or the other, and you have to fish either of these out later). I use quite a bit of spice, and then taste it while it's cooking, adding more of this or that until it's has the right zest for me. You really can just hone it to your tastes.
Another side note. . .To make it a minestrone soup you could simply toss in some cooked pasta :) I've done this a time or two and it's VERY good like that too.