Sniffle-friendly minestrone soup
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Though I’m not a fan of gray skies and frigid temps, I am a fan of a good homemade soup and winter is the perfect time to indulge, especially if you’ve caught one of those nasty colds that seem to always hit in time for the holidays. Though I’d usually go with a homemade chicken noodle soup, I decided to try my hand at one of my mom’s favorites: minestrone soup.
Growing up I remember my mom loving minestrone soup. She would always order it if it was on the menu. I preferred your standard chicken noodle or creamier potato, and it wasn’t until I was much older that I learned to appreciate a good minestrone soup. And this is a good one.
This minestrone soup is an adaptation of the Winter Minestrone Soup from Giada de Laurentiis. After serving it to the family, we decided it needed more broth and twice the pancetta. I also threw in a can of kidney beans because I do adore beans in soup. I used half the Swiss chard but not on purpose. For a second I thought 8 ounces equated to 1 pound but it actually turned out well; a full pound would have been too much. I may have also omitted the Parmesan cheese rind because I didn’t have one on hand.
That was way okay with me. I love any excuse to top my soup with freshly grated Parmesan.
Speaking of my mom, I also remember catching some nasty winter colds and my mom patiently (right, Mom?) nursing me back to health. Her arsenal included Tylenol, cool washcloths, Vicks and boxes of Kleenex.
Lots and lots of Kleenex.
With that thought in mind, I stocked up on Kleenex during my last visit to Target.
I’m not kidding. I really did stock up.
I already have a Kleenex Car Wedge between the passenger seat and middle console of the van in case of sniffle emergencies like those that follow a night spent outdoors participating in our neighborhood’s annual Walk to Bethlehem.
Because my kids refuse to keep their puffy coats on, I’m pretty sure I’ll be whipping up more batches of minestrone soup this winter in between all the nose wiping. I’m guess this guy will be the first to take the fall.
I better stock up on more Kleenex since I donated half the boxes to the George’s and Livi’s teachers. Those school classrooms are a breeding ground for sniffles, coughs and wheezes.
If you need to improve your Kleenex collection, use this link to snag a $1 off Kleenex 4-pack or larger coupon to shop at Target.
Printable recipe for minestrone soup below.
- 2 to 3 T olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 6 to 8 ounces coarsely chopped pancetta
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lb Swiss chard, stems trimmed and leaves coarsely chopped
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 (14½-oz) can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (32-oz) carton low-sodium beef broth
- 1 (15-0z) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a heavy large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the Swiss chard and potato; saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and rosemary sprig. Simmer until the chard is wilted and the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, blend ¾ cup of the beans with ¼ cup of the broth in a blender or food processor until almost smooth.
- Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in remaining whole canellini beans, kidney beans and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through and the soup is thick, about 2 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard rosemary sprig. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with Parmesan cheese and serve.
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