Want a meal to be filling and super-healthy? ‘Soup’ is the way to go; the one with lots of veggies, beans of your choice, and some comforting pasta cooked in a tasty, spicy broth which is exactly what this ‘Vegetable Minestrone Soup’ is!
I love all the delicious cheesy food at ‘Olive Garden’ once in a while. But the next day, reality hits in and I cringe about all the unneccessary calories from the previous day’s feast! Then, I comfort myself saying it’s ok to indulge once in a while! :). Anyway, the best options at that restaurant to me are the garden salads and the soups. How good and lip smacking are they? So, last week I really wanted to make this soup and when I did to my delight it was really close to the one at the restaurant.
I used veggies, beans and pasta of my choice and cooked everything in a nice & lightly Indian-spiced tomato broth. I also used some dried basil that gave this soup added flavor and aroma. I served it with a simple rustic ‘Soda Bread’ and it was just yum!
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Serves: 4 or 5
- Diced Tomato cans – 14 oz – 2
- Zucchini – 2 medium-sized – unpeeled & chopped into small chunks
- Carrots – 4 medium-sized- peeled and chopped into small chunks
- Cannellini beans can – 14 oz – 1
- Multi-Grain Pasta Elbows – 1n1/2 cup cooked/boiled and drained
- Oil – 2 tsps
- Onions – 1 small-sized
- Bay leaf – 1
- Cinnamon stick – 1 small
- Cloves – 1 or 2
- Dried Basil – 1n1/2 tsp
- Ground Pepper – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli powder/Paprika – 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Salt – 1n1/2 tsp or as per taste
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – 1 tsp – only for garnish
In a deep sauce pan or pot, heat about 2 tsps of oil or butter. Add cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves. When they begin to splutter, add finely chopped onions and saute for a couple of mins until the onions are translucent.
In the meanwhile, boil water with a pinch of salt in another pot. Add pasta and cook for about 6 to 7 mins. When done, drain all the water and set the pasta aside.
Add the chopped zucchini and carrots to the sauteed onions. Now, add salt and ground pepper and saute for a couple of mins. Empty the diced tomato cans into the sauce pan now. Add the remaining spices – red chilli powder and dried basil to the tomatoes. Cover and let cook for atleast 5 mins.
Empty the cannellini beans into a bowl. Rinse under running water to drain out all the canned liquid and add the beans to the sauce pan. Also, add the cooked pasta now. Add about 2 cups of water, cover and let cook for about 15 mins. Give a taste test and adjust salt if needed.
Serve with a hint of grated Parmesan cheese as garnish and some bread to dip into it!