During quarantine, one of the things I’ve struggled with most is maintaining a balanced diet. With prolonged periods between grocery store trips, I often find myself going through my fresh produce quickly and leaving myself with grains, canned goods and nonperishables for weeks. Minestrone soup is a great way to make sure you’re getting a proper veggie intake — and it freezes and reheats well, meaning you won’t have to rely on eating canned beans every night. 

Hannah Jackson / Daily Nexus

Minestrone is great if you have any fresh vegetables you’re worried about going bad; anything seasonal is a great addition. For this batch, everything I bought came straight from the Isla Vista Food Co-op. 

Ingredients:

  • 5 stalks of celery
  • 3 carrots (or 15 baby carrots)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • ⅓ lb green beans
  • 1 can of cannellini beans (15.5 oz)
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes in juice (14.5 oz)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Pasta (separate) 

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add in the diced yellow onion and stir for about three minutes, until translucent. 
  2. Then, add the chopped celery and carrots to form a mirepoix, with salt and pepper to taste. Make sure to stir frequently so the onions don’t burn. 
  3. After three to five minutes, or whenever the colors of the carrots and celery begin to brighten, lower the heat to medium-low and add in your potatoes (I cut them into medium-sized cubes) or any other dense, slow-cooking veggie you want to add. 
  4. Next, you’re going to add fast-cooking vegetables, which I save for the end so they don’t overcook or burn. 
  5. Cut your green beans into roughly half-inch pieces and dice your zucchini. Add these, along with your minced garlic, to the pot. 
  6. Now, pour six cups of broth into the pot and bring the heat back up to medium-high. Strain and rinse the cannellini beans and add them into the mix. 
  7. Then, add your canned tomatoes and make sure you add the juice as well, to give the broth a more robust flavor. 
  8. Finally, add a tablespoon of Italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. 
  9. Give the pot a quick stir and wait for the soup to come to a boiling point. Once it begins to bubble, place a lid over the pot, bring the heat down to low and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. 
  10. Around 15 minutes in, I made a pot of macaroni noodles. You could have added a pasta of your choice along with the cannellini beans, but I chose to make a separate pot since it’s such a large portion, and I didn’t want to freeze pasta for later.

Hannah Jackson / Daily Nexus

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