Dear Cozy & Comforting Winter Minestrone
There’s no such thing as too much garlic. Say it with me. It’s all you need to know for this delicious, hearty soup.
Minestrone is the best meal on a cold winter evening when you want something warm and comforting and just need to use up what’s in your fridge. It’s one of the most forgiving dishes since you can basically throw in any type of vegetable, bean, or protein. It even works with whatever stock you have on hand. Don’t have mixed beans? Use garbanzo. No celery? Spinach will work! Gluten free? Skip the pastina or substitute with a quinoa noodle.
Personally, my preferred minestone uses hot Italian sausage as the protein and a beef broth. I load it up with veggies and pastina and *always* top with some grated fresh parmesan or mozzarella. Serve with crusty bread and butter for a dunkable, delightful winter meal.
Unhelpful Recipe: Minestrone
What’s an “unhelpful recipe”? Well, if you’re like me, and don’t ever follow a recipe, then you’ve come to the right place! I’m going to assume that you know the basics of how to prepare food (in this case, soup) so I’ll skip the specifics and just provide you with the basic ingredients and roughly what to do with them. The rest is up to you!
- head of garlic
- baby spinach
- 1 can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 can mixed beans (no salt added)
- Pastina (I like the stars, but any small pasta will work)
- hot Italian sausage
- beef stock (or stock of your choice)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
To Prepare (Roughly)
- Roughly chop and sauté sausage in a large soup pot until toasty brown with caramelized edges
- Add olive oil as needed
- Dice onion and add to pot
- Peel and crush garlic, add to pot
- Dice carrots and celery, toss them into the pot as well
- Throw in the baby spinach
- Season with a pinch of each of the spices
- Add the full can of diced tomatoes, including the liquid, the tomato paste, and the beef stock
- Simmer until all the vegetables are soft
- Drain and rinse beans, and add to the soup along with the pastina
- Once the pastina is cooked, taste and season as needed
- Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmesan