It is that time of year where I crave soup. The minute the weather goes below 50 degrees, a soup light goes off in my head and all I can think of are the various ingredients I can use to make them.
This hearty soup is filled with healthy ingredients and perfect to serve as a meal. I keep a batch of soup in my refrigerator throughout the fall and winter. This one seems to be one of my family’s favorites.
I do not look at soup as something you can eat before a meal. For me, soup is the main course of the meal. My family loves to have soup with rustic homemade bread. The bread is perfect to dunk in the rich broth.
This soup reminds me of staying at my Italian grandparents’ house while I was a child. My grandmother was an economical cook and minestrone soup was a meal that was not expensive to make, so she made it often. They always had a loaf of Italian bread at dinner every night and bread was dunked in everything from wine to coffee to soup.
I never did get my grandmother’s official minestrone soup recipe but I am not sure she had one written down. I learned to cook from her, and that meant adding whatever vegetable or meat was needed to be used up in the refrigerator.
Over the years this recipe evolved because I wanted to make a healthy minestrone soup with a lean protein. Chicken breast is perfect because it also adds great flavor to the soup. I also use zucchini because we always seem to have an abundance of it. Yellow squash can easily be substituted.
Make this delicious soup to serve on a cold night. If you are as much of a soup fanatic as I am, here are five other soup favorites that can also double as a full meal.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 8 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1/2 pound chicken tenders, or cutlets, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 15 ounce can pink beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium zucchini squash, chopped
- 1 cup uncooked elbow noodles
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large French oven, heat olive oil on medium heat and add onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Cook for about 7 minutes or until vegetables start to wilt and brown.
- Add tomato paste, chicken broth, seasoning and chicken. Bring pot to boil then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Add beans, zucchini and elbow noodles. Bring heat to medium and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
Le Creuset 6.75 Qt French Oven
Le Creuset 4.5 Qt Round French Oven
Le Creuset French Oven - 5 1/2 Quart
Wusthof Santoku Knife - 5 inch