Have you seen the commercial where the snowman comes in from the cold and starts to eat a bowl of soup? As he eats, the snow on him melts aways and in his place is this cute little boy with freckles on his face. I was reminded of this commercial today when my little one came back from school. I always feel so sorry for him when I see him with his backpack heavy with textbooks, a layered jacket, boots, hat and mittens. My memories of school are those of carefree days playing in the sun for hours on end till mom called me home for dinner. sigh...
Anyways, my little one has always loved soup, and cream of broccoli is his favorite. He wanted some soup today and since I had made c-o-b just yesterday, I decided to make some minestrone soup for him. It took 8-10 mins to make and he slurped it up without looking up from the bowl. What can be more satisfying for him and for me - the mom?
Here's how I make it:
Vegetables: tomatoes, carrots, pepper, onions, spinach
Pantry Ingredients: pasta, chickpeas, garlic, herbs, crushed red pepper, black pepper
1/2 of a small white onion, chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tsp tomato paste, or 1/2 small can of tomato sauce
1 garlic minced
2 tablespoons each of chopped carrots, green pepper (any veggies really)
a handful of spinach leaves (I used baby spinach from the salad section)
a fistful of pasta
a fistful of chickpeas (either soaked overnight or from a can)
1 tsp of italian seasoning
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
salt, sugar and pepper to tasteMethod:
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the italian seasonings, pepper and crushed garlic. Immediately add the chopped onions. Saute for a few seconds. Add the tomatoes. Saute till the tomatoes turn soft. Add all the remaining ingredients except the spinach and add 2 cups of water. Let boil for about 8-10 minutes till the pasta is cooked. Add the spinach at the end and boil till the leaves wilt. Sprinkle with parmesean cheese if desired ( not for the little one, but I love it)
This soup can be varied in so many ways. Sometimes I add cubed potatoes, zucchini, corn. Sometimes I use rajma beans or black beans instead of the chickpeas. I add a spoonful of pesto if I have some, to kick it up a notch. All versions are equally delicious.
Minestrone Soup - simple, delicious heartwarming food for the body and soul.