Chuck, my dad, work folk, and even I’m fighting off something.
When I am stressed or sick I almost always crave a blanket, my slippers and soup. I love soup so much. The only problem is that I rarely feel like making soup when I’m stressed or sick, and canned soup is not an option. Call me a snob if you want, but I firmly believe that real homemade soup is better by a LONG shot. The flavor, the health benefits, and the love. Oh the Love. How can you make soup and not put some love in it? I don’t think it’s possible. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.
One of the things I remember most is the minestrone. I swear Nona made it every. Single. Night. I mean she made it from scratch every night, not just made a bunch and served it all week. She said it tasted better that way, because that how it was supposed to be made. I learned how to make it from watching her, and her deft hands as they chopped, tossed, and stirred. It was so good, and filled with love; the perfect thing to pull me out of my funk, and nurture poor Chuck.
- 2 TBSP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
- 1 LARGE ONION, DICED
- 4 CLOVES OF GARLIC, MINCED
- 1 STALK CELERY, CHOPPED
- 2 LARGE CARROTS, CHOPPED
- 1 TSP DRIED OREGANO
- 1 TSP DRIED BASIL
- 1 28 OUNCE CAN DICED TOMATOES
- 6 CUPS LOW SODIUM VEGETABLE BROTH
- 1 CAN LOW SODIUM KIDNEY BEANS
- 2 CUPS FRESH BABY SPINACH
- 2 CUPS COOKED DITALINI (OR SMALL PASTA)
- PARMESAN CHEESE FOR GARNISH
- 2 TBSP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL
- IN A LARGE THICK BOTTOMED SAUCE PAN HEAT OIL, AND SAUTE THE ONION FOR ABOUT 3 MINUTES, OR UNTIL IT BECOMES TRANSLUCENT.
- ADD GARLIC, THEN CELERY, CARROT, OREGANO AND BASIL, AND COOK FOR 6-7 MINUTES.
- STIR IN THE TOMATOES, AND BROTH, AND BRING THE POT UP TO A BOIL.
- REDUCE THE HEAT AND ALLOW IT TO SIMMER FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES BEFORE ADDING THE SPINACH, KIDNEY BEANS AND PASTA.
- COOK FOR ANOTHER 5 TO 10 MINUTES TO ALLOW THE SPINACH TO WILT.
- ADJUST THE SEASONINGS AND SERVE WARM WITH PARMESAN CHEESE, AND BASIL FOR GARNISH.