Friday, September 13, 2013

The easiest, tastiest, most customizable soup… ever!

Here's the thing. 

Camp life means that you never really know if you're going to be home in time to make dinner. Or if your husband is going to be home in time to eat the dinner you make. 

Some nights are fine. Some are big question marks.

And, because we live so very far from where we grocery shop (about an hour and a half - one way), it is so helpful when a recipe makes extra that I can freeze for nights when dinner is awfully difficult to prepare.

This recipe is a winner.

Not only is it super easy and so delicious you'll think you're sitting at Olive Garden, but it's completely customizable for any dietary restrictions you might have!

It can be gluten free, dairy free, meat free, whatever!

And, it's still delicious.


Make it without the noodles, freeze it, and then the only thing you need to have on hand is pasta to cook up! Simple, quick, and perfect for cool fall nights and cold winter nights!
(I also keep dinner rolls frozen for this very situation, although my husband likes Ritz and slices of cheddar cheese on the side.)

Hearty Minestrone Soup

1 T olive oil
2 diced carrots (I do 3 - we like carrots)
2 diced celery ribs (I cut them big because my family members pick them out)
1 large onion (again cut big to pick out)
2 chopped garlic cloves (honestly, I just use minced garlic)
1 can diced tomatoes and juice (I ALWAYS use 2 cans. Makes it richer)
1-2 bay leaves (I do 2 because of the extra tomato juice and I sometimes add more broth)
1 scant T dried sage
6-8 cups chicken broth (homemade - I'll post this recipe soon!)
1 can kidney beans
2 C kale, chopped
6-8oz pasta (could use gluten free)
salt, pepper, parmesan (optional)

Heat olive oil and garlic in large soup pot over medium/high heat and sauté until the garlic is lightly browned. 
Add carrot, onion, celery and cook until starting to soften. Season with salt and pepper. 
Add tomatoes, bay leaf, sage and chicken broth. Simmer 30 minutes.
Add bean and kale and simmer 20-30 minutes. Season.
Put pasta in bowls and serve soup over.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, if wanted.

Serves 6-8 (supposedly - I fill up two large ball jars after we're done eating to freeze. It makes a good amount!)
       *adapted from

Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!
It's delicious!

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