This winter minestrone is my favorite way to clean out my fridge. Anything you got can go into this perfect, simple broth of chicken (or veggie!) stock, diced tomatoes, herbs, honey, and lemon. Sweet, tangy, herby, and a little spicy. You’ll be slurp slurp-ing and dunk dunk-ing your bread into this little bowl of heaven. Small little pastas help make this feel like a full meal, (and if you’re like me and dunk 4-5 rolls into this…you’ll be extremely full and happy).
I was inspired to make this after seeing Thug Kitchen’s recipe for Warm Up Minestrone. Theirs is much more vegan/vegetarian friendly than mine is, and also has some lentils to make the soup even heartier. If that’s your kind of thang.
The soup starts with a classic mirepoix, (onions, carrots, and celery) and then you can get a little customize-y. Potatoes are a must in my opinion, and I also had some frozen corn in the freezer that’s always a hit in our house. Feel free to mix it up with any veggies you have on hand! Thug Kitchen used rosemary, basil, and parsley, (and so did I) but I think a lot of different winter herbs would make this totally yummy. You could switch it up with some thyme and sage for a different feel if this becomes a weeknight staple in your house, (since I feel like it’s about to become a staple in mine).
As for the pasta, use whatever you like! I’m a lover of a tiny pastina called acini di pepe, (I know it’s a little crazy, but my family uses it in our chili recipe!). But you can use anything you have as long as it’s small-ish. I think ditalini is pretty common in minestrone, but elbow noodles or even little stars would be wonderful as well. Like I’ve said- totally customizable.
Finally, grab whatever bread you can: dinner rolls,buttery crescents, crusty french bread, heck even sandwich bread would work. Then dip, dip, dip away. I add a little more liquid than the original recipe calls for because I’m a dipping fool. What wonderful minestrone combinations have you come up with?
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large russet potato or 2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 2 quarts low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 cup small pasta, like acini di pepe, ditalini, stars, elbows, etc.
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Freshly grated parmesan for serving
- Crusty bread for dipping
- In a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat add the oil and let it get hot.
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the pot, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir around and sauté until the vegetables start to brown for about 5 minutes.
- Next, add the potatoes, rosemary, garlic, red pepper, and the bay leaf. Stir and let cook for a minutes, and then add the tomatoes.
- Pour in the broth, corn, honey, parsley, and basil. Stir and raise the heat to high until the soup starts to boil.
- Once the soup is boiling, add in the pasta and set your timer for the recommended cook time, (probably 5-7 minutes for small pasta). You might want to throw some bread in the oven to crisp up 🙂
- When the timer has 2 minutes left, stir in the chopped kale, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. You can cover the pot to help the kale steam and wilt.
- After the timer goes off, remove the soup from the heat, (soup is always better after it sits for 20 minutes!)
- Top with some parmesan cheese if you'd like and serve with crusty bread.