Hungry Heart

Adventures in healthy living

Soup’s On

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The Alarm (aka Sadie) got up very early today.
At 4am she hopped onto our bed and wedged herself between me and Jer.
And she didn’t want to sleep, she wanted to be pet.
If you stop petting her, Sadie will lick you until you feel like you need a shower.
She has figured out that we usually choose to pet her instead of be licked.

She’s smarter than I giver her credit for.

Sadie always gets up at 6:15 with me when I get up to blog.
She eats breakfast immediately, then goes outside.
After 10 minutes outside, she comes in and immediately runs to our bedroom.
She takes my spot next to Jerry until I am done blogging and wake them up.

She is a lot smarter than I giver her credit for.

Also smart, is making a big pot of soup on a cold day.
During the cold months, I make soup about once a week.
They are usually healthy, full of vegetables, and make great leftovers for lunches during the week.

I guess you could call last night’s soup my take on minestrone.
I don’t know if minestrone has a specific recipe, but this soup has tons of veggies, pancetta, and beans.

Hungry Heart Minestrone Soup 

  • medium onion, chopped
  • small zucchini, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-4 oz pancetta, chopped (or bacon)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups petite diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups baby spinach
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 15oz can of beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini)
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning or fresh rosemary, basil, parsley
  • grated parmesan, for serving

Heat your soup pot to Med/Low and add pancetta.
Once your pancetta is brown and crispy, add the onions, celery, and carrots and garlic.
Add salt and pepper, and the Italian seasoning.
Let cook 10-15 minutes, or until the veggies get soft.
Add zucchini, and a few minutes later, the tomatoes.
Pour in the stock and beans.
Cover and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes.
Roughly chop the spinach, and stir into hot soup. 

You can add pasta to this soup if you like. I would increase the liquid by 1-2 cups, and add one cup of short pasta, like ditalini, orzo, or elbows.

You can also use lots of different veggies. I have seen recipes that add potatoes, green beans, chard, peppers, and cabbage. Some recipes also add rice as a starch. 

The key to making soup on a weeknight is sauteing the vegetables. Otherwise, you would have to wait hours for the veggies to soften while the soup simmers.

Serve soup with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, a dash of hot sauce, or some crispy croutons.

I promise there is soup under those croutons

Next time I might add more beans. If you like beans, feel free to add two cans. It will add more fiber and protein to the soup.
Unless you are a vegetarian, definitely don’t skip the pancetta. And the cheese is a must. They bring a nice salty depth to the broth, and make it seem more like a meal than a bowl of vegetables.
Can’t wait for leftovers at lunch!

What is your favorite soup to make when the weather gets cold?

One Comment

  1. Hmmm…I to am a soup maker. Love all kinds. Fall is squash or potato leek time! My favorite cold weather soup is a lentil or split pea. yeah I know I made you eat it when you were little :)

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