This soup is awesome. It's chunky and hearty, filling, and without the cheese it's vegen for you veggies out there. This is easy on my GI as well because of the low acidity (unlike canned soup or other canned tomato-based products), low fat (only 1/4 cup of oil for saute, actually I used half that), and the insoluble fiber of the veggies is cooked down a little bit.
I have modified the procedure from the original recipe listed below. First, I have halved the recipe because the original recipe creates a ton of soup that we just don't eat.
So I use 1 T of oil for sauteing, 1 medium onion, 1 carrot (sliced not diced), 1 largish zucchini, 1 stalk of celery, 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, 2 garlic (I'm not crazy like Emeril, but I don't skimp on garlic), about 1/4 cup green beans (usually frozen), 1 can cannellini, half of the 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, and 4-6 cups chicken broth (start with 4 and add more depending on your desired consistency).
I like using my dutch oven for soups. I go ahead and saute the carrots and zucchini with the celery and onions despite what the recipe says. I add a pinch of salt and pepper. At this stage, as usual when sauteing garlic and onions, other people in the house will say, "that smells good!"
Add your crushed tomatoes.
Stir in broth. Start with 4 cups - you can always add more later if you want to thin out your soup.
While your soup is coming to a boil, prep your potato and your green beans. Those are next contestants. The potato I chop into nice 1/2" or bite sized chunks.
Add green beans to the soup. While I've had the beans out of the freezer for a while, they're still frozen, and adding them to the soup will reduce the soup's temperature. I haven't discovered any real repercussions or benefits of this yet.
Add potatoes to the soup.
Everyone else into the pool! As the soup comes to a boil add your elbow macaroni (1/2 cup) and your cannellini (drained and rinsed). In this particular batch I used dark red kidney beans because I happened to have those in the cupboard. They work just as well.
After the soup has come to a boil and I've reduced the heat, I season the soup with about 1 T of basil (basil makes the soup very sweet), 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp oregano, and about 1 tsp each of salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for at least 10 minutes to cook the pasta. The longer you let this simmer the more the flavors marry and the richer the taste.
Top with a little shredded Parmesan and you're good to go. This soup is great served for lunch or dinner and is especially awesome served with a roast beef & salami sandwich.
Homemade Minestrone Soup Recipe1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil) 2 large onions chopped
3 large carrots diced
2 medium zucchini cut
3 stalks celery chopped
1 lb potatoes diced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lb green beans
1 can cannellini (drained and rinsed)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes w/ puree
8 oz chicken broth
1 cup elbow macaroni
spinach leaves or Swiss chard
Heat oil over medium heat. Add celery and onions, saute 5 min and then add garlic.
Stir in broth and tomatoes and simmer. Add potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and beans and heat to boiling.
Add pasta and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Stir in Swiss chard (optional). Add seasoning (salt and pepper) and cheese when served.