Magic Minestrone Soup

Hopefully you had a wonderful, relaxing holiday and are still enjoying food, family and quiet time (while I brave the roads yet again to see more family). I thought I would share one of my current favourite recipes with you today in case you are already bored with leftovers and looking for something healthy to make for dinner.

This recipe is magical because you can make it using whatever is in your fridge and it will warm your soul with goodness. Seriously.

The only thing to remember, however, is that this is not a 30 minute meal. This is a sit on the stove (or slow cooker) all day, gently simmering and making the house smell great. The time is what does it.

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To start I chop one or two onions (depending on the size). The dribble some oil into a large pot, turn the heat on medium and toss in the onion. As it cooks I peel/wash and chop some carrots, celery, potato and either beans or zucchini (but you can really choose whatever veg you want). Once the onion is starting to brown I throw in the rest of the vegetables and give it a stir. I leave everything for a couple of minutes to soften. Then I add two bay leaves and a handful of greens. I pour in two jars of tomatoes and their juice (if using whole canned tomatoes just run a butter knife through them either in the can or pot, but they will break down, so don’t worry too much). I add broth (usually chicken, but vegetable broth is great too). Depending on what kind of broth you use you may want to add salt. I always add in a generous pinch. I throw in white beans, but again, you can use whatever you have or want, as long as it isn’t overpowering. Put a lid on the pot and bring it to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to low. Leave it for as long as you can (I usually leave it about 5 hours).

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About half an hour before we are eating I add is some pasta or Isreali couscous. If you plan to have to soup for leftovers or to freeze I would cook the pasta separately and then add it to your bowl, otherwise it will continue to thicken your soup and suck up all the liquid.

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Before serving remove the bay leaves (it may take a while to find them), serve and then sprinkle parmasan on top.

This soup is great with a good crusty bread, or biscuits, but can stand on its own also. Perfect for a cold, wintery day.

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