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: