Hearty Minestrone Soup with Cheesy Bread
Adulting - "Soup & Sandwich"
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 medium red potato, diced
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
- ½ red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- ½ orange bell pepper, seeded and diced
- Kosher salt and white pepper, to season
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 bouquet of fresh herbs: 3 sprigs thyme, 2 fresh bay leaves, 1 handful parsley, 1 sprig sage, 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 (15oz) cans petite-cut tomatoes with juices
- 2 (9.6oz) cans gigante beans in tomato-dill sauce, or 2 (15oz) cans seasoned white beans
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind (approx. 3”x2”)
- 1 small yellow squash, diced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 3 leaves rainbow chard, roughly chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish
- 4 ( ½ inch thick) slices multi-grain bread
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese (Parmesan, Asiago, Provolone, etc), or any cheese as desired
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to season
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, potato, carrot, celery and bell pepper. Season with salt, white pepper, paprika, chili powder and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the bouquet of herbs. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Add the tomatoes, pureed beans and sugar and vegetable broth. Stir to fully incorporate the vegetables into the broth.
- Drop in the Parmesan cheese rind. Increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered.
- After 20 minutes, add the squash, zucchini and rainbow chard. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid and carefully remove the herb bouquet (leave the Parm rind in there, but don’t eat it of course).
- Season to taste with salt, white pepper, paprika, chili powder.
- Want more heat? Add another sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Too bitter? Add a dash of sugar.
- Finish with the lemon zest and stir to combine. Want some acid, squeeze that zested lemon in there.
- To serve: Ladle yourself a big bowl of that soup. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy with cheesy bread.
- Cool the soup completely and store in the refrigerator for the rest of the week. Feel free to add shredded rotisserie chicken, chopped bacon, chopped fresh herbs.
- Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine the butter, cheese, chives, salt and pepper.
- Evenly distribute the butter-cheese mixture onto the bread.
- Place onto a lined baking sheet.
- Toast for 6-8 minutes until melted and bubbling. Remove.