One of my favorite comfort foods (especially during the winter months) is soup. There are a variety of pre-made soups in any grocery store, but sometimes you just don’t feel up to ingesting all that sodium at once. If you’re like me and are just getting into cooking, you’re probably not looking for super complex recipes to try. Luckily, soup can be one of the simplest foods to make! My mom always makes the best minestrone soup. Minestrone soup is a popular vegetable Italian soup that can be personalized to your own liking. This is the way I like to have it the best:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium chopped yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium sized potato, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon of dry basil
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 large bay leaves
1 can of crushed low sodium tomatoes (28 oz.)
6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (preference is up to you!)
4 oz. of small pasta of your choice (shells, macaroni, bow ties, etc.)
1 can of northern white beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons of minced parsley
In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil, add onions, and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add carrots, potatoes, crumbled basil, crumbled oregano, and bay leaves. Cook for 5 minutes and stir occasionally. Add crushed tomatoes and broth of your choice. Bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, uncovered. Take out the bay leaves after 20 minutes of cooking. Add pasta and cook until tender. At this point, if more water is needed, you may add it in. Add beans, cook for 3 to 5 minutes. After the beans are cooked through, you are ready to serve! I personally enjoy this soup best by adding either shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese over top of my individual bowl – it just melts right in and adds an extra yumminess to the dish. You can also top with any garnish you’d like. This soup provides great sustenance that will definitely fill you up.
Depending on how many people you are serving, you might have a good amount of leftovers, which is so great for future meal preps. You can save this soup for as long as you’d like by freezing it after a week or so. Enjoy!