Monday, October 26, 2009


I'm a big fan of working with what you have when it comes to cooking and in life. I'm not a big fan of running out to the store just to pick up one or two things to complete a recipe. So when I decided to make minestrone soup...I started digging through the pantry and fridge to find out what all I had to make minestrone. I almost always have celery but I had used the last of it the other day to make homemade chicken noodle soup...I put celery in lots of stuff, it adds flavor and texture and it lasts a long time before spoiling. So this time there is no celery in the soup but I would've used it if I had it!

So here's what I came up with for my gypsy mama minestrone soup:

Minestrone is basically just an italian vegetable soup with beans and pasta. I used beef stock and crushed tomatoes but you could also use chicken or vegetable stock. In the refrigerator I found, a half of a green pepper, a zucchini and some baby carrots. Then the pantry brought forth an onion, some garlic, kidney beans, some canola oil and a half a box of whole wheat organic rotini.

Into my favorite cooking vessel went chopped onion, sliced carrots, the green pepper and the zucchini with about a tablespoon of oil and of course…the garlic!!

Which I cooked a bit to get the flavors going, then add about 1 T. of flour to help with thickening.

I added the crushed tomatoes, the stock and beans and let simmer. A bit before serving I added the pasta and voila’ ~ Minestrone!! It's an easy soup that is very satisfying. If you have celery or other vegetables you want to use up, go ahead and add them.

Gypsy Mama Minestrone:

All ingredients used are organic!!

1 onion chopped roughly

1 handful of baby carrots sliced

½ green pepper chopped

"A couple of stalks of celery if you have it!"
1 small zucchini sliced in rounds and then cut in half

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped roughly

1 T. canola oil - I would have used olive oil but was out

1 T. unbleached organic all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. oregeno

Salt & Pepper to taste

Sautee’ veggies with oil until softened then add flour to coat veggies.
Then add:
24 oz. of Broth ~ whatever you choose (beef, chicken, vegetable)

1 large can of crushed tomatoes

1 can of kidney beans or garbanzo or both!!

PASTA- you choose how much and what kind-I used a half of box of whole wheat rotini.

Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer for an hour or more. The smell of a big pot of soup simmering on the stove is awesome! You could also put in the crockery cooker at this point if you are going out for the day.

About 20-30 minutes before serving add pasta. If you are going to freeze any of you minestrone, cook the pasta separately then add to the soup. Otherwise it will be mushy and disintegrate.

Can you come up with something from just what you have already on hand? Can you work with what you have? What do you think you are missing? Because I’m a firm believer that whatever it is we need resides within us already. If you ‘think’ you don’t possess something would you consider working with what you ‘think’ you do have? I think you will be amazed at what you can come up with…I know I always am!

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