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Year-Round Minestrone
Posted by Lori Ross - Viewed 2434 times

Recipe by Lori Ross


Minestrone soup with Parmesan cheese and pesto.

We made minestrone with leftovers several times during the cruise and one day when it was very warm, I even ate it cold and it was delicious. If you want to make a meal out of it, add some cooked beans and pasta or rice during the last 5 minutes of cooking to make it more filling. Top with a tsp of pesto for a special treat.

1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves -- crushed
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup each of sliced carrot and chopped celery
1 ½ cup raw green beans sliced into ½” pieces
2 chopped fresh tomatoes or 4 canned plum tomatoes -- drained
1 cup shredded cabbage
4 cups low-fat or defatted* chicken broth (fresh or from cubes, powder or base)
1 cup spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp each of dried oregano, thyme and rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese
Optional (not included in nutritional values below:
1 cup cooked cannelini or other white beans
1 cup cooked pasta or rice




2 cups fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
6 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Heat oil in pan over medium heat until hot. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add 2 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute. Add green beans, cabbage and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach, salt and herbs, then remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of cheese and top with one or two tsps of pesto. 

*To defat fresh chicken broth: Make stock, by cooking chicken carcass in 2-3 quarts of water with 1 tsp of salt and several carrots, celerysticks and one chopped onion in a stock pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for one hour to 1 ½ hours until it is flavorful. Drain stock into a bowl. Cover and chill overnight. Fat will rise to the top of the bowl one chilled. Carefully remove visible layer of fat to make low fat chicken stock.

Per serving (2 cups soup, 1 tbsps cheese and 2 tsps of pesto without pasta, beans or rice): 170 Calories; 2.5g Total Fat; 20g Carbohydrate; 446mg Sodium

Serves 4

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