If you ever need to develop your biceps, just lift one of those heavy iron Dutch Ovens from you cabinet to your stove and back again. You won't need an exercise plan ever again. Which is great because all the good food coming out of it will require a little calorie burning.
Not so with this quick and flavorful Minestrone Soup. Full of vegetables and heart healthy fats, every spoonful will make you feel good about eating something hearty. Coming together quickly with lots of ingredients in a can or easy to chop, it's the perfect weeknight indulgence.
If you're wanting a Dutch Oven of your own I suggest you run right out and get one! (After you read my entire post, of course...), Le Creuset being one of the most popular makers of Dutch Ovens, but almost any brand will make this soup just as SOUPER...
You've seen Minestrone a thousand times. What makes mine so special? Besides the love I impart it's about layering flavors. And once you master this process you can make almost any kind of soup you want and it will far surpass anything you've made preciously by just dumping and heating everything together.
Here's where the Dutch Oven makes you a rock star. It allows you to do everything well, especially caramelize the meat leaving bits of flavor that you then scrape up when you add stock. Then just roll that goodness into the rest of the broth. It's a foolproof way to please everyone that love to eat. (Yes, everyone.)
So read the recipe, lose your fears about soups, and let me know how your Minestrone turns out!
RECIPE: Weeknight Amazing Minestrone Soup
Serves 6 / Click here for printable version.
1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into big strips evenly sized
¼ large white onion diced
½ large russet potato diced
2 carrots diced
1 large celery stalk diced
1 15 oz. can petit diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans
1 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans
4 C water with 2 Knorr beef bouillon cubes dissolved
3 T tomato paste
½ C uncooked Ditalini pasta
1 t paprika
1 ½ t dried oregano
1/3 C chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 C chopped fresh basil plus one big sprig
Parmesan cheese to garnish
3-4 T good olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste (see METHOD for guide to seasoning and when)
In a large Dutch oven heat 2 T of the oil to shimmering and add the chicken pieces. Sear on each side until about 80% done. You want the caramelization of the chicken to help season the broth. Remove and cover.
Add more oil to the pot, about 1 T or more if needed. Don’t worry about the brown spots. They’ll come up when you deglaze with the beef broth. Now add the onion, potato, celery and carrot. Cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minute or so. Season with about 2 t salt and 1 t black pepper. Now add about 1 C of the beef broth and deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom to get all the bits into the liquid. Cook for about 2 minutes. Now add the tomato paste and stir, the paprika, oregano, the 3 cans of ingredients liquid and all, and stir. Let it get hot and reach a low boil. Now add the rest of the beef broth and let simmer at a low boil for about 10 minutes covered with the lid askew. After 10 minutes add the ½ C of pasta, stir and let bubble on medium low with the lid again partially covering, bubbling for about 15 minutes or until pasta is done. Now add the sprig of basil and about half the parsley. Let cook on medium low for another 2 minutes to season the soup. Remove the basil.
While the soup is cooking, shred or chop the chicken breasts and set aside. When done, ladle the soup into bowls. Add the chicken on top, sprinkle with more fresh chopped basil, and a little parmesan cheese. SERVE!
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style is one of combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.