"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Soup-er Sunday!

If you are a follower of my Project 365 blog, 365 Daze to 40 , you would have seen this picture:

or maybe the title of this post gave it away.

Today is all about soup here in Kristen's Kouzina. Homemade, from scratch, super hearty, healthy, Minestrone! Can I just tell you how wonderful my house smells right now!!!

So you start with the ingredients shown above:
* extra virgin olive oil
* medium onion, diced
* 3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced
* medium zucchini, diced
* 2 - 3 carrots, diced
* 2 cans diced tomatoes
* 1 can cannellini beans
* 1 box vegetable broth
* fresh basil, to taste, rough chopped
* 1 tsp. bouquet garni seasoning
* 1/3 cup elbow macaroni
* bunch of baby spinach, torn and stems removed
* hot sauce, to taste
* sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Heat about 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil in large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and carrot; saute about 5 minutes till the onion is translucent. 

Add the 2 cans of tomatoes, box of veggie broth, basil, and bouquet garni. 

Add a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer ten minutes. 
Add pasta, cover and simmer ten minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add all remaining ingredients and more salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce heat to low.

 Let simmer for about 20 minutes while you breathe in the delicous aroma.

A few notes:
* You definitely do not have to use Bouquet Garni. It happened to be what I had on hand and I have used it in soups before. I have also used Italian Seasoning when making this, too.
* You could certainly use chicken broth if it is what you have on hand. I prefer to keep it vegetarian so use veggie broth. And I prefer organic, fat free, low sodium broth.
* You can use regular spinach if you wish. I just really like baby spinach, and again I prefer organic.
* You can definitely use Kosher salt in place of sea salt. I just always cook with sea salt. But use a light hand. A little goes a long way. I start with the teeniest, tiniest pinches of salt. You can always add more if needed, but can't take it out once it is in there.
* Please please please use fresh basil! There is nothing like it! If I were making this soup in the spring I would use ALL fresh herbs from my garden. But even in winter, I will always splurge and buy fresh basil at the store.
* Ditto for black pepper. Get a grinder and grind it fresh while you are cooking. That nasty pepper dust stuff that you see in shakers just plain sucks!
* Because I do not have the patience or the time to soak dried beans overnight and all, I do buy canned. But I buy low-sodium when possible, and I rinse the crap out of them to get as much sodium and can gook off of them as possible.
* You don't have to use elbow macaroni. Any tiny pasta, like ditalini or orrechiete, will work. and use the white stuff. Even though almost any time I have pasta I go for the whole grain now, you really need to use the traditional semolina pasta in a good minestrone.

Finally, when the intoxicating scent is making your mouth water and tummy growl, ladle it up and ENJOY!!!

Garnish it with freshly grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano cheese (please for the love of all that is good and holy, ditch the green can of that powder-y nasty pretend grated "cheese!") and serve with a crusty French baguette.


Carol said...

Looks yummy! :)

Jodi said...

That looks SO good. I love minestrone soup. The closest to "making" soup I come is opening up a can. LOL!

Tania-Dreams2010 said...

Love homemade soup! Looks so good ;)

Christa said...

Can you bring some over for dinner tonight?? LOL...I am having leftover chinese food...I love homemade soups!! I will have to try this!

thatdesigngal said...

Oh my, that looks fantastic!!! I might just try that this week! Thanks! I will have to report.

Thanks for the link! :-)

Terri and Bob said...

This is when being an internet friend sucks. If we were neighbors, I'd invite myself over or bring over some of Bob's fab garlic bread!

Cheryl said...

Starring this so that I can try it! I love minestrone and this looks delish!

Also, you have an award waiting for you on my blog today. :) http://secondglantz.blogspot.com/2010/02/let-sunshine-let-sunshine-in.html

Kathleen said...

oh my, that's look divine. You are too sweet to share this recipe. I will be making some this week. My husband is gonna love it. Hugs, Kathleen

Kristi Flanagan said...

Yum - this soup look great! I love soup!!! Just stopping by from follow me friday - thanks for following me too!!!

Have a great week!

Punkin Seed Productions

carma said...

this vegetarian things that looks spendid :-)

Question for my fellow Italian sister: what type of tomato sauce do you usually make - do you use crushed and then season yourself - I've been having a hard time coming up with something that is not too bland compared to the Hunts tomato sauce which is loaded with salt, but much tastier...

Not to mention my son much prefers the salty one!

~Kristen~ said...

Hey Carma!!! :-)

I just emalled you!!!

BonnieRose said...

OMG can u come over here and make that for me?? LOL I don't cook.. LOL this sounds fab!

Melissa Miller said...

Kristen this sounds so yummy and just delish! Perfect for the cold weather.

~Blessings, ~Melissa :)

Melita said...

that looks FANTASTIC!!! i plan on making that really soon! headed over to check out your new blog (love the concept). hugs!!

Kimberly said...

I make a soup almost just like this except the hot sauce. Do you think it really gives it a something extra?

We are even having soup tonight. I have at least one meatless meal a week.

Italian food is just so damn good, and so simple and diverse. You can add what ever you have, and leave things out. It is all good.

Amy said...

OH my! That looks delicious...and it just happens to be lunchtime. You are making me super hongry (with a long o sound!) ...that's how we say it in Texas! LOL

Holly said...

That looks seriously good...even the photos of all the steps look yummy! I'll have to pay more attention to your other blog...as I will be joining that journey very soon!


New England Girl said...

Ohhh, that looks SO good. Can I get an invite next time you make some??

I have missed you and your posts SO much! I am trying to get back into blogging, and I think it will actually work this week! I do love, though, that we can catch up on email and facebook if need be. :)

I am glad you like the photos. And YES, you definitely need to get back to Western MA sometime soon. Next time you're heading to Yankee Candle, you have to let me know! :)

Hope you're enjoying the snow -- are y'all getting much? I can't remember the last time we got a storm like this... Oh vey!

Leann said...

Mmm.. I'm dreaming of smell- a -blogging!

I'm making potato tomorrow during the storm.

Stay warm!

Anonymous said...

Ohh that looks yummy. I love soup. I could use some today, It's snowing pretty hard here!

Ms Bibi said...

That looks so yummy and perfect for chilly days we've been having.

I think I need to make some soup for the kiddies tonight.

Jenny said...

Yum. I could totally make this and leave out the beans and the macaroni and the cheese and it would still be good! This will be my weekend pot of soup! Thank you! Did you get your LL necklace yet?

Farmgirl Paints said...

We'll be home around 6:00 if that works for you to bring dinner by;) HA! Looks so YUMMY!!!

Kristens Creations said...

Hi Kristen, this soup looks delicious! I made some similar the other day, but yours sounds better. Thanks for checking our little family room. I haven't been in the living room since we got those recliners...they are so comfy!! Sure beats sitting on a couch... Take care, Kristen

Tracie said...

That looks delicious! Here it's a good day to have some fresh homemade soup as it is gloomy and cold. That would perk me right up.

Miki said...

Look scrumptious! Thanks for posting the recipe! Miki

Deer Camp Diva said...

YUMMO! Looks delish!