Monday, January 10, 2011


I forgot to take a picture of my minestrone. So I found a picture online of one that closely resembles my soup. Thanks!

I love soup in the winter time. I live in Michigan and it is pretty much cold and snowy from November to April so there are lots of opportunities for soup night. Soup is versatile because many soups can be made ahead of time and frozen or cooked low and slow in the slow cooker if you have a busy afternoon.

I have had this recipe for Minestrone from Allrecipes since November of 2004 (according to the date that I printed the original recipe). This was the first thing that I ever made for my now husband. He is not a huge vegetable eater but LOVES this minestrone. I have since passed on this recipe to my mom, who always gets requests for it from her friends. I have also put it in my work cookbook, etc. So needless to say - this is pretty much the best minestrone ever.

Last week, one of my friends had a baby and I wanted to bring her some meals. I knew we'd be eating minestrone later in the week so I made an extra large batch on Sunday afternoon. I froze a gallon ziplock for her and froze a big plastic container for my family so it would be ready to eat later in the week.

I did not make many nutrition changes to the recipe. I do not add Parmesan or extra olive oil on top of the soup (does anyone else find drizzling olive oil on top of soup weird?). This is the first time I have ever put the red wine in the recipe, and thats just because I happened to have an open bottle of wine. If you were watching your sodium intake, you may consider choosing reduced sodium chicken broth and tomato sauce.


3 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
5 carrots, sliced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
4 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can green beans
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry seashell pasta

In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 2 - 3 minutes. Add onion and saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, saute for 1 to 2 minutes. (You can also do this in your crockpot. Turn it to high with the oil in. Add the garlic. Let that cook while you are cutting your onion. Add the onion. Let that cook while you are chopping your celery and carrots. Add to crockpot and give a good stir. Allow to cook in crockpot for 10-15 minutes or until the veggies appear to cook a bit.)

Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to a boil, stirring frequently (Or cook in crock pot on high for an hour). If desired, add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better. (Turn crock pot to low, cook for at least 2 to 3 hours).

***If you are preparing this for the freezer. Transfer to freezer containers at this point and freeze***

When ready to eat. Cook seashell pasta according to package directions. Put 2 Tbsp pasta shells in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle soup over the pasta. Top with Parmesan if desired.

Makes 8 LARGE servings. Each serving provides:
195 calories
5.9 g fat
30.3 g carbohydrate
7.4 g fiber
6.2 g protein


  1. Okay, this looks like something I can do. I think this will be on the list for the week. Thanks! As always, looks delicious!

  2. Minestrone is my absolute favorite kind of soup, so I'm super excited about this recipe! Thanks darling!!

  3. Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog after reading Christy's post on tablespoon and saw your comment. I am SO excited!!! I love all these foodie blogs, but yeah, some of them definitely need to be lightened up, in the right way. I am so exited to try out some of your recipes.