Minestrone Soup, Part II

I did a post on Minestrone Soup back in February.  The recipe I used produced a thoroughly OK soup, but, if I may quote myself:

...there seemed to be elusive base note missing to the broth.  It just needed one last bit of “umph,” and I wondered if a couple teaspoons of tomato paste in the diced veggies would have provided it.  This could also be, simply, what you get when you go for the quick-and-easy, rest-of-us minestrone recipe.  It’s delicious, but lacks the soul and wisdom of the expert, slow-cooked version.

Lack of soul, indeed.  A couple days ago, emboldened by this spell of nasty weather we're having, I tried a new minestrone recipe from my new crockpot cookbook (Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss).  It was delicious that night, and even more so over the next 2 days.  This soup had soul, and it is now my go-to.

Unfortunately, a dead camera battery means a pictureless post.  Use your imagination...

Herby and Soulful Minestrone Soup

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (I used six.  Duh.)
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced (I didn't have any.  Boo-hoo)
  • 2 yellow peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced (I had 1 1/2 peppers.  Shrug)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh savory (I don't grow this)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (I grow this!)
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (and this!)
  • 1/2 tsp each dried oregano, basil and sage.
  • 4 cups beef or vegetable broth (I used Nature's Promise culinary vegetable stock, 1 box)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I used 1/2 can of chickpeas and 1/2 can of red kidney beans because I am very particular about the colors in my minestrone soup)
  • 1 cup 100% vegetable juice, such as V8 (I used Trader Joe's Garden Patch)
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (I specifically went out and bought it)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black peppr
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, and bell peppers and saute until the vegetables lose their raw look, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and herbs and cook another minute.  Transfer to slow cooker.

2.  Add the broth, chick peas, beans, vegetable juice, tomatoes, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook 3-5 hours on high, or 6-10 hours on low.

3.  Stir in the parsley and lemon juice.  Serve with shredded cheese.

I also added in half a bag of frozen Fordhook lima beans at the end.  To cool down soup for the kids, I put frozen peas in the bottom of their bowls and then ladle the soup on top.  It doesn't dilute it like ice cubes.

I served with bread and butter and some marinated mozzarella balls (bocconcini).  Jeeps and I highly recommend dropping the cheese right into the soup, and then drizzling the herby olive oil on top.

Oh all right here...stock photo: