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February 2011
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So I set out intending to make a minestrone…but  I didn’t really have any fresh vegetables with the exception of spinach and two mushrooms, and I apparently didn’t put enough liquid in….so this turned out closer to a chili…which isn’t bad…and probably put the universe back at equilibrium since the chili I made a couple weeks ago was pretty soupy.  This is a serious cold winter night dish…whatever you choose to call it, that’s for sure.  I think part of the issue may have been that the pasta soaked up all the liquid that WAS in here, you’re supposed to use ditallini, but I didn’t have any, and had to go with pretty big pasta, although I only put a handful in.


The recipe for this can pretty much be whatever you have on hand…that’s the route I went, but I’ll share my ingredients anyway, so you can get an idea.  With the exception of the salt and pepper, these were all Penzy’s spice blends that I used.

2 tbs olive oil
2 blocks frozen, pureed basil
2 tsp Tuscan Sunrise Spice Blend
1 tbs Shallot Pepper
Sprinkle Dried Jalapeno
1 tbs onion powder
1/2 cup frozen corn
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 can black beans, rinsed
2-4 large button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shredded baby spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes
10 ounces vegetable stock
S+P to taste
Handful pasta of choice – optional

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add basil and spices stirring to develop flavors. Add garlic and mushrooms, continuing to stir. Add the rest of the vegetables except for spinach. Once they’re coated with spice/oil mixture, add tomatoes and stock, stirring to combine. Set to simmer, and leave for 20 minutes.
2. Add noodles if using, and allow to boil until they’re cooked. Make sure all the liquid doesn’t cook out, and if it does, add more, 1/2 cup at a time. Once soup is done and heat is off, stir in spinach.

I do wish I’d had more fresh veggies to put in this, but you make do with what you’ve got…and it certainly wasn’t bad.  A little toasted bread to scoop things out with would’ve been good too if I’d had space for it.


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