Mom's minestrone

10/05/2011 at 7:45 pm | Posted in mangia! | Leave a comment
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My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on Sunday. 40 YEARS. Isn’t that awesome?

In honor of their special day and in celebration of this gorgeous fall weather (by October in the South, we begin to wonder if summer will ever end) I whipped up a batch of my mother’s minestrone. This is one of my all-time favorite soups, especially with a pile of mozzarella cheese on top.

I doctored it for Lily by cutting out the zucchini (which to her is the equivalent of eating dog poop), adding corn and increasing the amount of pasta. I also renamed it (spaghetti soup! fun!), and she obliged. The promise of a buttery roll didn’t hurt either. I’m planning to use this recipe as a base for other kid-friendly soup creations, switching up the types of veggies and shapes of pasta.




1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I love Contadina)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper or more to taste (I always use more)
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup cut green beans (frozen are fine)
1 Vidalia or yellow onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 green pepper, chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato paste
7 cups beef or vegetable broth
1 cup small or medium pasta shells
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 package frozen petite peas, thawed and drained
Grated or shredded parmesan, mozzarella cheeses


1. Pour the tomatoes into a big stock pot, add the herbs (except bay leaf) and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Add the bay leaves, chopped veggies, tomato paste, broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
3. Drain and rinse the kidney beans and strain any liquid from the peas. Add to the soup and simmer for a half hour.
4. While the soup is simmering, cook the pasta al dente. Drain, rinse, set aside.
5. Add the cooked pasta to the soup and simmer until heated through.
6. Remove bay leaves. Serve with shredded cheese.


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