Thursday, January 5, 2012

Minestrone Monday

Monday marked Day 6 of our roofing job, and unfortunately not the last. Our house isn't all that big, folks, and the weather wasn't bad until Sunday. Big sigh. And is it a requirement that all construction workers must smoke? Yuck.

On a brighter note, since I was home anyway, I decided to make my planned dinner, minestrone soup, for lunch--much more time to putter when the little guy is at daycare! It made a giant batch, so I stuck one in the fridge and three more in the freezer. One of those is a "family size" portion that we'll have for lunch one day when The H is working from home. Even though I've been eating lots of fruits and vegetables for a number of years now, it still tickles me to know that I've eaten a giant portion like this in one sitting. Nerdy, right?

This recipe is from a book I bought in college, during my stint as a vegetarian. It's a very down-to-earth book; the author was a teenager when she wrote it as a result of the research she did to convince her parents to let her adopt a vegetarian diet. When I was flipping through it last weekend I was reminded how many great-sounding recipes there are in it! I've made this soup many times, but today was the first time I made it gluten-free by using corn pasta.

Minestrone Soup
from OK, So Now You're a Vegetarian by Lauren Butts
serves 6-8

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery (including the leaves, if you have them), chopped
2 carrots, chopped (I used about 12 baby carrots)
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic (I used two fresh cloves, minced)
1 potato, diced
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary (a little more is ok)
1 can (14-16oz) diced tomatoes, plus the juice
1 cup water
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (20oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup orzo, alphabet noodles, or other small pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, optional

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and potato, stirring often until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add rosemary and cook for a few seconds.

2. Add water and tomatoes and their juice; bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add broth and beans. Return to boil and sprinkle pasta over the surface.

3. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Ladle soup into bowls and top each with grated cheese before serving (optional).

I also added zucchini, yellow squash, and fresh mushrooms when adding the beans, plus a bit of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper after I tasted it. The pasta I used was Sam Mills lasagna corte, and it held up remarkably well for a GF pasta. The picture above is a reheated portion, served with gluten-free dinner rolls--recipe forthcoming!

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