Last week I shared with you a recipe for Ham and Bean soup. We made it because we had left over ham. Well, after that we were stuck with left over celery and carrots. Not something we eat in our normal diet. I had been chatting with a friend and she had to go because she need to start making dinner, minestrone soup. The next day I was thinking about that and had a eureka moment, I bet minestrone soup uses carrots and celery. I emailed my friend and she kindly shared the recipe. I thought it was pretty tasty so I'm going to share it with you.
3 Tbs olive oil
1 lg onion, finely chopped
1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp each dry rosemary, dry oregano, and dry thyme
1/4 tsp crushed dried red pepper, if desired
1/4 cu dry barley, rinsed and drained
2 med thin skinned potatoes (~ 12 oz total), diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 quarts vegetable broth (I use low sodium and adjust salt to taste at end)
1 large turnip, peeled and diced
1 can red kidney beans or white kidney beans (canellini)
2/3 cu small dry shell, elbow, or other shaped macaroni
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups finely shredded green cabbage, swiss chard, or kale
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a 5 to 6 quart pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and crushed red pepper (if using). Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft (8-10 min).
Add barley, potatoes, carrots, and broth. Bring to boil and reduce heat to gentle boil for 20 minutes.
Add turnip and continue to cook 20 more minutes. (*Now is when to add fresh green beans or peas and zucchini.)
Stir in macaroni and tomato paste and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and boil gently 12-15 minutes or until macaroni is tender to bite. (*recipe says to add beans now but I find boiling them makes them get mushy and fall apart. You can also add now frozen green beans or peas.)
Add beans and their liquid and cabbage (or other greens) and cook uncovered until cabbage is tender (about 5 more minutes, depending on greens).
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
We made some changes to it. I had planned to buy kale since I like to eat it with my salads and it's super healthy for you, but all the kale at the store looked bad. Husband and I aren't cabbage fans, so we left out the 2 cups of the cabbage or kale all together. I'm not a huge fan of pepper or hot spices, so no crushed red pepper for us either (although Husband sprinkled some in his bowl). Husband and I are a huge fan of noodles, so we added a lot more noodles. I think it ended up being too much, he thought it was perfect. I didn't measure though, just grabbed handfuls and threw it in. We did put a turnip in the soup. Neither one of us was sure about it, couldn't remember ever eating turnip, but we did it and I couldn't pick it out of the soup as something that tasted bad, so I would use it again.