Healthy Hearty Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup ready to eat!
I love Minestrone Soup, but haven't made it in years. Recently I found a new recipe for this yummy and hearty soup, so after trying it and making changes as I always do, here it is for my readers.

This is amazing soup, so thick and healthy and scrumptious that I know you're going to love it. I serve it with homemade biscuits for a really filling lunch or supper.

I like to prepare this soup in stages. I usually prep everything first, sometimes I do that a day ahead so that I can start cooking first thing the next morning.

Ingredients List
1 cup red or white kidney beans. I use canned which I drain.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 chicken bouillion cube and 8 cups leftover vegetable water or 8 cups chicken stock
1/4 package of bacon, cut into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, coarse chopped
2 carrots, cut diagonally
2 stalks celery, cut diagonally
2 zucchini, coarse chopped
1 can lentils, drained. You can mash them or leave them whole, your choice
half a small cabbage, either shredded or coarse chopped
1 28-oz can tomatoes, mashed (I use the ones with Italian spices added)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp fine herbes
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup rotini
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

First Stage

Make the chicken stock if you don't have any in your freezer.  I use my saved and frozen leftover vegetable water and 1 to 2 chicken bouillion cubes.

Your vegetable water doesn't have to be completely defrosted. Here you see that I have partially defrosted mine in my microwaves and then I toss it into my soup pot along with an evelope of chicken bouillion powder

Second Stage

Saute the bacon and onions in the olive oil until the onions are soft - about 5 minutes.

Add to the 8 cups of stock.

Add the drained kidney beans to stock.

Bring to boil and simmer for about one hour.

Third Stage

Add the chopped cabbage, carrots, celery, zucchini, drained lentils, bay leaf, all spices, and tomatoes. Bring to boil and simmer another 20-30 minutes.

Fourth Stage

Now you have to decide how much, if any, you are going to freeze. Put what you want to freeze in your freezer containers and mark on them that you still need to add the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes.

Any that you are going to eat right away, you can now add your pasta and simmer for another 10 minutes.

When ready, dish up in bowls and shake about 1 tsp parmesan cheese on top. Serve with garlic bread, rolls or biscuits.


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