A week or so ago, we were supposed to get a few inches of snow (ha!), we got a light dusting. I thought this soup would be perfect to having simmering on the stove on a day that we might be stuck inside. This is one of my favorite soups that my grandmother made. I would request it for my birthday dinner quite often. Now, I love that it is packed with lots of veggies and is a healthful, delicious dinner option for my family.
This recipe is free of milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish
extra virgin olive oil (for sauteing veggies)
1-2 lbs of stew meat cut into small pieces
4 cloves of garlic, pressed
3-4 large carrots, sliced (or you could use a small bag of matchsticks or baby carrots)
2-3 celery stalks, diced
3-4 large potatoes, cut into chucks
1 large onion, diced
1 9 oz box of frozen green beans
1 9 oz box chopped frozen spinach (no sauce), defrost and squeeze as much water as you can out of it
1/2 small head cabbage, coarsely chopped
32 oz. safe beef broth (I used Progresso...it is gluten free). Vegetable broth would work if you do not want to use beef broth.
2 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes (undrained) or 28 oz can (whatever you have on hand)
1 tsp. oregano (I threw in some fresh oregano from my garden)
coarse ground salt and pepper to taste
If you are using a crockpot (mine is not big enough for all of these veggies, etc.) Throw all of the ingredients in and let look for 8-10 hours. The longer it cooks, the more the flavors come together.
In a large pot, saute garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, onion and green beans in a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add cabbage, beef broth, tomatoes and oregano. Heat until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender. I let mine cook on low for about 4 hours.
It is going to look like there is not enough liquid, but you will get liquid from the vegetables as the soup cooks. At the end before you serve, you can either add more beef broth or some water to make it the consistency that you like if it is too thick.
To make this meal stretch further, you could serve it with small pasta. I do not mix it directly into the soup pot because it soaks up the liquid and it is not good frozen. If you put your pasta directly into the bowls when serving you will be able to freeze the rest of your minestrone for another time.
*You could also substitute other veggies like zucchini or squash...whatever your family likes! This is a great soup to make when you have stray veggies in your frig that you need to do something with :)