minestrone in spring

So simple – a bit of prep and you’ll have a lovely rustic soup in no time. Go big and bake some bread too. Try a yeast free bread like Irish soda bread – only 35 minutes from prep to table…the great thing about this soup is you can use a variety of vegetables – use what you like, utilize what you have…

I made this soup last week while we we’re having a few chilly days and below freezing nights –  it is Maine and it is spring so why not eat a bowlful of hearty minestrone soup? Enjoy.

Soup Ingredients

3-5 carrots

3-5 stalks of celery

1 medium sized onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 big handfuls of fresh spinach, swiss chard or kale

1 cup dried cannelloni beans – cook prior to adding (or 1 can – rinsed)

1 cup dried pasta (bow tie, shell, ziti – you choose)

1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or fresh if you have the time and desire to poach and peel)

1-2 cups broccoli (frozen or fresh)

32 oz. vegetable or chicken stock

juice from 2 lemons

olive oil

bit of butter



a good pinch of fennel seed

1 bay leaf

a few leaves of fresh basil if available

What to do;

Chop carrots, onion, garlic, celery and greens (either spinach, kale, swiss chard).

Keep each prepared veggie separate from the others.

Saute onions in butter until slightly browned, not burned, in a heavy bottom soup pot.

Add a bit of olive oil and garlic, cook briefly.

Add carrots – gently cook.

Then add celery – toss and gently cook a bit more.

Add greens – and more olive oil if necessary, you want the veggies to glisten so as not to burn…

Pour in stock.

Add crushed tomatoes (the entire can may not be necessary).


Bring to boiling point.

Add uncooked pasta.

Boil gently for about 5 minutes.

Turn down heat to simmer.

Add salt and pepper to taste, finish with generous pinch of fennel seeds + bay leaf.

Pour in lemon juice + cooked beans (with cooking liquid if prepared from scratch)

Simmer on low about 40 +/-  minutes, covered.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve with freshly grated parmesan or asiago. Try crumbled goat cheese with fresh chopped basil – add a slab of warm freshly baked bread slathered in butter and what more do you need on a chilly spring evening…

Eat good food. yum.

2 thoughts on “minestrone in spring

  1. My favorite!!! Fresh bread and a pot of hearty soup on the stove…so satisfying, and a simple sense of contentment. Love the addition of lemon juice….love your food pics!!!

  2. Pingback: tomato worms in the August garden | Ripe Red Berries

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