One of my favorite parts of snowy winter months is sitting down to a hot bowl of homemade soup. I usually make a large portion so we have plenty to share with friends, eat as leftovers, and sometimes freeze for future meals.
I made a huge double-recipe of minestrone last week, one of my favorites because a) it's easy, b) it's healthy, c) I can get creative with it if I feel the urge, d) it can be "dressed up" with salad and hot bread, and e) it's even better left over.
I use a recipe called "Best Ever Minestrone Soup" as a guide. It's in my JLO Art of Cooking cookbook (put out by the Junior League of Ogden and jam-packed with delectable recipes and delightful art). Then, I add or omit ingredients to make it a tad easier and healthier. I also double the recipe so we have LOTS. So, without further ado, here's
Wendy's Best Ever Minestrone Soup
2 cups ground turkey, cooked and drained
1 (28 oz) can tomatoes, pureed (Italian seasoned if available)
4 cups water
1/4 of a 10-oz bag of matchsticks carrots (from your produce dept.)
1/4 of a 14-oz bag of Dole Classic Coleslaw mix (from produce dept. by bagged salads)
1 small zucchini, diced
2 (8-oz) cans tomato sauce (Italian seasoned if available)
2 cups beef broth
1 T. dried parsley leaves
1/2 t. pepper
Italian seasoning to taste (depending on if the tomatoes you are using are seasoned or not. If not, suggestion is 1/2 t. basil leaves and 1 t. dried oregano leaves)
1/2 t. garlic salt or equivalent fresh garlic
1 (15-oz) can garbanzo beans, drained
1 (16-oz) can green beans, drained
1 (15-oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 cups baby shells pasta, cooked (optional)
Fresh Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)
In large pan, combine everything except for the beans and pasta. Bring to a boil, simmer on low for 20 minutes. Add beans, bring to a boil. Simmer 10-15 minutes until tender. Season to taste. Serve over cooked pasta (I keep it separate so the pasta doesn't soak up the leftover soup) and sprinkle fresh Parmesan cheese on top.
Bon appetite! :)