Warm and Hearty Minestrone Soup

This started out as Pasta Fagioli, but there was no ground meat or sausage on sale this week. So, it was turned into Minestrone.  I guess if you wanted to, you could just start this same recipe with browning the meat and you have yourself a completely different soup!

IMG_6939

I was able to put 2 quart jars of this soup in the fridge for lunches this week and 4 pints in the freezer for a later date.  Most of the items I even had on hand in my pantry.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

IMG_6935

Warm and Hearty Minestrone Soup

1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs of celery, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1 28 oz can of tomatoes (crushed, whole, diced, sauce)
2 quarts stock (can sub water but it wont be as flavorful)
2 cans of undrained beans (kidney, navy, northern white)
2 cups of small dry pasta (elbows, ditalinni, shells)
1 handful of greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard)
salt, pepper and garlic to taste (italian seasoning would be good too)

1. Add a small amount of olive oil to the bottom of a soup pot, add onion, carrots and celery, cook over medium until soft
2. Once soft, add bay leaf, tomatoes and stock, bring to a simmer, simmer for at least 30 minutes
3. When the veggies are soft, add the beans, pasta and greens, cook for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked al dente
4. Season to taste, remove the bay leaf and serve, or store in the fridge for 5 days or the freezer for 4 months

Are you a Pasta Fagioli or Minestrone fan?

Warm and Filling Basic Potato Soup Base

Lunches at home are, more often then not, reheated leftovers from dinner the night before.  But what happens when there are no leftovers?  PB and J or tuna salad anyone? Not any more!  This is a great budget friendly staple to have during the winter months, Basic Potato Soup Base.

Why not just call it Potato Soup? Because, the possibilities are endless.

1. Wash, peel and dice 5 cups of potatoes.  I used Yukon Gold but Russet or really any kind will do.

2. Place in a pot with 6 cups of stock or water.  Today, I only had 2 cups of stock, so I used that with 4 cups of water.  Really any stock will do, don’t have stock, use all water. Really its very flexible.

IMG_6795

3. Boil for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are easily mashed.

IMG_6796

4. Using an emersion blender, standard blender, food processor or a freaking fork, puree the soap completely until smooth and silky.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5.  Store your quart (and a little more) of soup in the fridge for 4 days or freezer for 6 months, or even just enjoy right then and there.

IMG_6797 IMG_6798

Now, this is just the base, yes you can eat it plain, I did and it was super tasty.  You could also add whatever you are in the mood for; cheddar cheese, any cheese, bacon, ham, chicken, turkey, cooked veggies, raw veggies, tortilla chips, fried onions, hot sauce, croutons, more potatoes, sour cream, pesto, tomato sauce, beans, noodles, so on and so forth.

Really you can throw in whatever you have on hand and have an even hardier filling soup.

Imagine doing this with sweet potatoes? YUM! What is your favorite winter soup?