Love Served Daily

Cooking up Smiles..Across the Miles


39 Comments

Minestrone Soup..A healthy, winter delight

IMG_4327

Hello everyone…Happy New Year. I wish you guys have a great year ahead. We welcomed the new year with family and friends and it was wonderful. My little one is back to school after her holiday break and we all are slowly getting into routine. What the new year also brought for us was our first snow of the season. It was all white and beautiful and my daughter absolutely loved it. ๐Ÿ™‚

The winter is in its full swing right now with sub zero temperatures in our part of the world. We are trying our best to enjoy the cozy nights, snow ball fights, hot chocolate and of course a warm bowl of soup. Cause hey, you can’t really change the weather, all you can do is change your attitude and enjoy what life brings to you. ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_4328

I made this hearty minestrone soup on one of these cold winter nights (Temperature 9F or -13C ) and it really lifted up our spirits. Its healthy, delicious and comforting. We relished it with some warm bread and embraced the beautiful winter night. Winter or not, this soup is delicious and can be enjoyed all year around. Lets make some…

Ingredients:

Olive Oil – 2 tbsp.

Onion – 1 medium, diced

Garlic – 4 cloves, minced

Carrots – 2 medium, diced

Celery – 2 medium, diced

Zucchini – 1 medium, diced

Chopped Spinach – 2 cups

Tomato Sauce or puree – 2 cups

Vegetable Stock – 6 cups

Boiled White or Garbanzo Beans – 1 cup, (rinse and drain if using canned)

Boiled Red Kidney Beans – 1 cup (rinse and drain if using canned)

Small Shelled pasta – 1/2 cup (Use your choice of pasta)

Salt and pepper to taste

Italian Seasoning – 2 tsp

grated cheese for garnish

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot, and add in the minced garlic and onions. Let it cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add the chopped carrots, zucchini and celery and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Next add in the tomato puree or sauce and let it cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Finally, mix in the vegetable stock, beans, spinach, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and let the soup cook for at least 20 minutes, on medium flame, stirring occasionally.
  5. While the soup is simmering, cook your pasta, al-Dante. I like to cook it separately, because if you add it in the soup, the pasta ends up soaking all the liquid.
  6. Once the soup has cooked for at least 20 minutes and has thickened up to your preference, give a final taste test and mix in the cooked pasta and switch of the gas. You can also mix the cooked pasta in the soup bowl to avoid thickening of the entire soup.
  7. Garnish it with some shredded cheese and enjoy this warm bowl of goodness.

IMG_4326

So that is how I made this delicious soup and warmed up a very cold winter night. Do let me know if you try it out.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love,

Ritu. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements


36 Comments

The Red Soup..With the goodness of tomatoes, carrots and beetroot

IMG_3744

Hello everyone. The most beautiful season is officially here. With such lovely colors all around, I find it so hard to focus on the road. I stop by every now and then to capture this beautiful array of colors around me. Check out this beautiful red tree I clicked yesterday, I stood there admiring it for good 5 minutes. New England is probably one of the best place to enjoy this beautiful season. If you have never been here, I highly recommend it, especially during the fall season.

IMG_3748

And with all this beauty, comes the first chill of the year too. The nights have gotten cold now which means its time to take out that crockpot and make some soup. This red soup is what I made today. With such gorgeous colors all around me, I couldn’t think of a better one. This soup was made on the stovetop but can definitely be cooked in a slow cooker as well. The soup combines the goodness of tomatoes, carrots and beetroot (or beets) and is pretty healthy if you leave out the cream. Its one of the most loved soup in my family andย I am so glad to share this with you today.

IMG_3745

Here is how I make it:

Ingredients:

Oil – 1 tbsp.

Garlic cloves – 2, chopped

Onion – 1 small, chopped

Tomatoes – 3 medium, chopped

Carrots – 4 medium, chopped

Beetroot – 1 small, chopped

Vegetable stock – 1 cup

Green Cardamom* – 3

Cloves* – 2

Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Honey – 1 tsp

Butter – 1 tbsp.

Cream – 2 tbsp.

Croutons & Basil Leaves – for garnish

Method:

  1. Take a heavy bottomed, deep saucepan and heat up the oil. Add the cardamom and cloves and Sautee them for a minute. * You can leave out the whole spices if your kids do not like the taste.
  2. Add in the chopped garlic and onion and cook it for 3 – 4 minutes till the onions get a little color.
  3. Now add in the chopped carrots and beetroot and cook for another 4 minutes till the veggies get caramelized.
  4. Finally, add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften up.
  5. Now add the vegetable stock, the salt and black pepper. Mix everything well and cover and cook till all the vegetable are soft and mushy. It will take about 20 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Finally, use a hand blender or let the contents cool down a bit and transfer the soup to a blender to make a smooth puree. You can strain this too if you prefer silky smooth soup.
  7. Bring the soup back to boil and add the butter and honey. The honey helps to cut down the sourness of tomatoes here.
  8. Let the soup boil for about 7 minutes on medium heat. Do a taste test here to ensure its per your preference.
  9. Finally, add in the cream, cook for a minute and turn off the flame.
  10. Serve hot with croutons and basil leaves. I have used mint leaves here for garnish. Use what you like. Enjoy this bowl of comfort and stay warm.
IMG_3746
So that is howย I kick started my soup season. If you have a soup you really like, do let me know in the comments below and I would love to try it out. We have a really long winter ahead of us.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
Love,
Ritu. ๐Ÿ™‚