It’s that odd time of year again. The period where it’s definitely NOT cool, fall weather yet, but I’m sick to death of summer and want warm, comforting meals. I’m tired of ice cream and popsicles and watermelons. I want fall food. I want sweet potatoes and pumpkins and SOUP! Well, today, I gave myself the best of both worlds! I managed to satisfy my craving for cool weather food, while still taking advantage of summer vegetables. I decided to make a hearty, delicious minestrone using veggies that are still in season. A great success! I went to Sprouts and loaded up on fresh summer vegetables- fresh green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, spinach- tons of goodies! This was a really delicious pot of soup! Plus there’s plenty for our dinner tomorrow night too (I go back to start teaching the kiddos tomorrow, so coming home to a ready-made meal will be quite nice!). Give this one a try- it’s definitely satisfying and comforting, yet really fresh and bright!

Minestrone with Summer Vegetables

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
*4 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (alternatively, you can use one 14-oz. can)
3 carrots, chopped
2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed (snap off the ends, then snap in half)
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch fresh spinach, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped
1 can Cannellini beans, drained
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup ditalini pasta (any small pasta is fine)
1/4 cup dry red wine (you can leave this out if you want)
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 bay leaf

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for one minute more. Add in the tomatoes, carrots, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms, chicken broth, water, wine, salt and pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach, cannelloni beans and pasta. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the parsley at the last minute. Remove the bay leaf. Serve.
Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil and parsley. Enjoy!

*To peel the tomatoes, cut a small ‘x’ in the bottom and place in a pot of boiling water for about 1 minute. Remove from water and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. The peels should come right off.

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11 Comments »

  1. Oh I agree…love fall better than anyother time of year and love all the food and recipes and football games that come with fall! Thanks for this recipe…packed with nutrients!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jane @ Sweet Basil Kitchen — August 30, 2010 @ 9:42 PM

  2. I Love the summer, but I am SO ready for fall to be here! I am looking forward to sweaters, and fall colors, hockey and pumpkins, and yes.. soup!! This sounds delicious!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by pup — August 31, 2010 @ 9:24 AM

  3. This looks great. Think I’ll make a batch up next week to eat for lunches. My 2 year old will love it as well, I’m sure. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Laura — August 31, 2010 @ 12:02 PM

  4. That looks delicious. I love ministrone chock full of fresh vegetables. I just discovered your blog and I’m really enjoying it.

    [Reply]

    Comment by City Share — August 31, 2010 @ 3:09 PM

  5. Thanks so much, City Share!! I’m so glad you like my blog!!

    Laura- let me know how you like it! I hope your 2 year old enjoys it!! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by amy — August 31, 2010 @ 3:10 PM

  6. A good minestrone is a must for veggie lovers! Really like the combination in this soup – looks and sounds delicious! And leftovers too…

    [Reply]

    Comment by UrMomCooks — August 31, 2010 @ 4:56 PM

  7. This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Heather — September 1, 2010 @ 7:01 AM

  8. I am totally with you on Fall Cooking! Bring out the slow cooker! Bring on the pumpkin! I even bought full on cinammon sticks the other day with no plan for them other than how cute they looked!
    Your recipe sounds absolutely wonderful. Perfect for the crazy in-between weather we’re having here in Canada :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by delishliving — September 1, 2010 @ 9:17 PM

  9. I do love minestrone. Your version looks delicious!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Beth — September 2, 2010 @ 8:24 AM

  10. A big bowl of comfort. I feel like those noodles are going to jump off the page and give me a big old hug.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Eliana — September 2, 2010 @ 7:02 PM

  11. I hear you on the conflict between summer weather and fall food. I have to say, though, I don;t ever think I’ve been sick of ice cream!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kelsey — September 3, 2010 @ 1:42 PM

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