Mar 9, 2009

Minestrone Soup my style..

There will be many a variations of this soup. This is what I have been following for a long time, and its just my way of making it. I do not claim this to be the authentic recipe for it, for I have no idea what's the right recipe for it.

This was one of the very first soups I tasted when I came to this country, the food place being Olive Garden. Many a times, we used to go to Olive garden just for this Soup. I wouldn't enjoy the rest of the Entree's or the rest of the meal as much as I would enjoy this (of course, some of their entree's are just superb and some I haven't liked that much). Why I'm talking of this is that my inspiration for the soup is based on the Minestrone Soup at Olive Garden. Ofcourse, I don't know their recipe, but I follow this recipe everytime and we all like it just fine.


Medium Shell Pasta, cooked - 1 cup
Red Kidney Beans, soaked overnite or atleast for 1 hr in very hot water. - 1/2 cup
Celery, chopped alongwith the leaves - 1 3/4 cup. Approx. 3 stalks
Carrots, diced - 1 1/2 cup
Fresh baby spinach, chopped - 1/2 cup
Broccoli heads - 4-5 (optional)
Tomatoes, chopped fine - 2 cups. Approx. 3 medium tomatoes.
White Onions, finely chopped - 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves, finely chopped - 2
Dried Italian seasoning (thyme, oregano, basil) - 2 tsp.
Freshly crushed black pepper powder - as per taste. (optional)
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsps.
Grated Parmesan Cheese - as you wish.


- Pressure cook the Red kidney beans with enough water for 2 whistles. The beans should be cooked but not mushy or broken. Keep aside and retain any remaining water.
- In a pan, add the oil, add the onions and garlic, saute for about a minute, add all celery, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, salt, the extra water from boiling the kidney beans + 2 cups of plain water.
- Close the lid and cook on medium flame for about 20-25 minutes or till vegetables are tender.
- Then, add the chopped spinach, the cooked pasta, cooked kidney beans, the seasonings & pepper and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
- Serve hot with some grated parmesan cheese on top and some garlic bread by the side.

Note :

- You would need a total of 4 cups of water for this preparation, so adjust accordingly. I used 1 cup of the kidney beans cooked water.
- I normally use the diced tomotoes from the can, but this time I have used fresh ones.
- Broccoli is usually not used in this soup, but I did here.
- Zucchini works great in this soup, but I didn't have any at the time.
- You can do the whole cooking of the soup in the pressure cooker, on low medium flame without any whistles.

This post is off to 'SWC-Soups', hosted by Neha of EasynTasty Recipes. Thankyou for hosting Neha.

This post also goes to 'My Legume Love Affair- Ninth Helping', hosted by Laurie at Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska. My Legume Love Affair is the brainchild of Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Also, a lovely 'Friends' Award that my friend Ashwini of NannaAdige passed on to me. Thank you dear Ashwini and am happy and honored to get it from you.
The award states that:
"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement (? big word, lol). Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Going by the rules and picking out eight friends, I would like to pass this on to these lovely people:

1. Meera of EnjoyIndianFood

2. Purnima of FantasyCooking

3. Asha of FoodiesHope

4. Ujwal of Ujwal's Kitchlab

5. Happy Cook of My Kitchen Treasures

6. Asha of Grandma's Recipes

7. Cham of Spice Club

8. Vanamala of Nalapaka

I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. Thanx again Ashwini.

Print this recipe


Superchef said...

ohh..yeah..even i became a great fan of minestrone through olive garden!! make this very often at home..your recipe is yummy!!

Asha said...

Delicious. With cheese on top, it's super delicious. Lot of veggies and pasta makes it perfect for a meal. Enjoy! :)

Asha said...

Oops! Enjoy your award and thanks for mine too, will add to my side bar! :)

Varsha Vipins said...

I havent ever tried this..But looks so colorful n yum Maya..:)

A_and_N said...

We love Olive Garden too! :) Great pics too!

Neha said...

Read a lot abt Olive Garden's soup. Alas, i could have tasted it.., Now can try this one,n atleast have some of its flavour at my home..
Thanx for sending..

Meera said...

I too loved m.soup during my early days. Your soup looks really nice. I have some pasta shells that I need to use up soon. I should try this.

Thanks so much for thinking about me for the awards.

Uj said...

Looks yummy. Gonna try this as I have almost everything in my pantry. Will try this soon. Looks yummy.congratulations and Thanks for the award dear :)

Cham said...

What a lovely color u got it ! Very comforting and delicous way to have soup. Congrats on ur awrds and thanks to share with me :)

Suparna said...

Hi Maya,
Congratulations on the award!
A health packed soup! looks divine n perfect :)

Purnima said... a lot abt minestrone..its latin for me :) The soup u hv made is just fab! Tks thinking of me, (Copy lock is preventing logo frm being saved :D Mujhe bhi sikhao na..hw to use the copy-prevention software ;) )

Uma said...

soup looks lovely Maya! So tempting. Congrats on the well deserved award.

Happy cook said...

I totally agree everybody has their own way of making this soup and your look yummy filling anddelicious.
Thnakyou for passing me the award and congrats to you.

Red Chillies said...

Great colors and the minestrone soup looks delicious. This is one of my favorite too.
Congrats on all the awards Maya.

Aparna said...

Soups aren't quite my thing, but I've made minestrone and the vegetables and pasta make the difference for me.:)

Maya said...

Thank you everyone.

Purnima, I will get back to you on tht software thing, I have to ask husb about it :D.

Vanamala said...

Thank you maya....lovely soup