Oh how I love vegetable soup. My grandmother used to make great vegetable soup (though not vegetarian since her soup always had ground beef) that I remember being filled with tomatoes and cabbage among other things. I loved it, though now I wonder how she did it since she couldn’t eat tomatoes and taste the soup. She called it her “clean out the fridge soup” and was thoroughly amused that I raved over it.
I did manage to use up a number of veggies making this minestrone (er, pasta e fagioli), although in the end the soup seemed to be lacking something and I never quite figured out what it was. I did some tweaking that made it acceptable, but sadly I don’t remember exactly what I did (probably more garlic and herbs, oh and I think removed some broth, and stirred some tomato paste in and then added that back to the soup). This was also a great dish to freeze for later this winter; it made enough for two bowls of soup plus four servings frozen and one in the fridge.
Pasta e Fagioli (pasta and bean soup) variation of Minestrone soup from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped*
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups hard winter vegetables (root veggies, winter squash), in 1/2″ dice*
- 6 c vegetable stock
- 1 c cored, peeled and seeded chopped tomato (or canned tomato, include the juice)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups soft vegetables (green beans, summer squash, dark leafy greens etc), in 1/2″ dice*
- 1/2 c parsley leaves
- 2 c cooked beans*
- 1/2 c small (short) pasta
- 1 t minced garlic
- salt & pepper
- freshly grated cheese for serving
*oops, I forgot I didn’t have celery and I used some celery seed instead – that might account for the “hmmm, its missing something” reaction I had; I used a mixture of potato and diced kohlrabi for my winter vegetables; I used green beans and summer squash; I used 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.
Put the oil in a large soup pot to heat up. When it is hot add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the winter veggies, some salt & pepper and then the stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn it down so it simmers and let the veggies cook until soft (about 15 minutes). Add the soft veggies, beans, garlic and pasta. Cook until everything is soft and heated through. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve.