Loaded Veggie Minestrone Soup

I’m wrapping up soup week with this hearty minestrone filled with SO many veggies – tomatoes, green beans, carrots, celery, onion, cannellini beans, kale and zucchini. Phew, that was a long list, but that’s what makes this soup so darn good. The texture is out of this world. And of course, the pasta and parmesan cheese don’t hurt either, but I’ll let the veggies be the star of the show on this one.

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But now that soup week is over, what in the world will keep me warm during these dreadful winter days?? I guess I’ll just have to keep cranking out the warm, comforting recipes. Twist my arm!

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As much as I love wintry meals, a part of me does wonder if it’s worth it. For instance, is a casserole really worth having to be inside all day?? Or, does the beef stew really make up for the amounts of moisturizer I have to use on my frost-bitten hands? I could go on and on…

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The truth is, I’m not sure if winter food is worth it because this week has been unbearable. As of now, I would gladly take fresh fruits and veggies and warm weather over this frozen tundra. But unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do to change it, so I’ll choose to bask in my winter meals and focus on the comfort they bring me after a gloomy, cooped-up wintry day.

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Here’s to enduring the cold weather together and daydreaming of warmer days (while consuming all the soups of course)! If you end up making this veggie-loaded minestrone, don’t forget to tag #marinamakeseats.

Loaded Veggies Minestrone Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of green beans, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme
  • 14 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz can of cannelini beans
  • 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, plus additional cheese for topping
  • 1 cup of dried cavatelli pasta (or other small pasta)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups of kale, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of jarred pesto

 

Directions

Chop all of the veggies prior to starting on the soup. 

Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, carrots, celery, onion, green beans and garlic to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and stir often for 7-10 minutes or until the vegetables become tender. Add thyme and cook for an additional minute or two. 

Next, add diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Bring the soup to a boil and let it simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes. 

While the soup is simmering, add water to a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Add a 1/2 tablespoon of salt and add the cavatelli, cooking it a minute before what’s listed on the packaging. Drain and set aside until the pasta is done.

After the soup has simmered for a while, take a couple of spoons and taste test the soup. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. After simmering, add the kale and pesto. Mix both in and cook for an additional ten minutes.  

Finally add the pasta and stir to combine. Serve in bowls and top with additional parmesan cheese.

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