This is a busy time of year, and it’s perfect-for-soup weather. What a great combination for my 40-minute minestrone! The first trick to 40-minutes is using pre-diced cabbage and already minced garlic. The next is proper staging: first cut the celery, onion, and carrots. While this round of veggies is cooking (with added garlic and cabbage), start cutting the next round of veggies: potatoes and zucchini. When these are added, start cooking the noodles, chop the spinach and rinse the beans. There is nothing better than homemade soup on a cold winter night! Enjoy!!
Hearty Minestrone (6 main dish servings)
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium stalk celery, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
6 mini peeled carrots (or one large carrot), sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1-16 ounce package ‘homestyle diced’ cabbage
1-16 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
5 cups water
2 beef flavored bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large zucchini, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained
2 cups packed fresh spinach, chopped
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, cook carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and cabbage until vegetables are slightly browned, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add tomatoes with their liquid and the next 8 ingredients, over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10-20 minutes. Add beans and spinach, heat thoroughly and season to taste. Serve over cooked elbow noodles. Top with parmesan cheese.