Fifteen baguettes later, I’ve arrived home to Philly after a two week excursion in France and Belgium. There was a serious amount of baguette action on this trip. And brie, and pastries, and bottles of wine, and poorly accented bonjour’s and bon appétit’s. You can expect a food-related post on my trip soon. First, however, I need to sort through my 1,000 photos, memories and jetlag, stalk the chef I met on Facebook, and remind myself life will be okay without cute French boys on every block. I also need eat some greens and whole grains. And grab this soup from the freezer.
Wanting to clean out my refrigerator, I whipped this up just before heading to France. It was literally the perfect light and veggie-packed meal I needed before jetting off to a foodie haven of artisan cheeses and pistachio macaroons. Luckily, some soup still remains waiting for me…waiting for my detox of daily croissant consumption. I admit, the thought of saying farewell to that makes me want to cry.
Oh well. Oatmeal simmers away, energy-restoring smoothies whiz in the blender, and breakfast and life goes on — with or without pain au chocolats. On the bright side, I’ve come home to ridiculously lovely weather in the midst of my favorite season. For that, I will continue to ride my life high. Come home in the winter, on the other hand, and I’m sure this would not’ve been the case. Good thing its springtime. Cheers to that. I also stumbled home to my tax return in the mailbox yesterday afternoon. After Paris, it needn’t even be mentioned I’m cheersing to that too.
If the thought of soup and warm temps makes you want to slap me and proceed to go flag down the ice cream man, well, then bookmark this one for later. But considering it’s still May and sweat-drenching days have yet to arrive, I’m going to argue on behalf of this meal. This minestrone is certainly not a hearty, gut-warming winter stew. Rather, it’s a light soup, fit for a wide range of seasons, and packed with tons of nutrition. Given what was in my fridge the day of its creation, this also happens to be heavy on the green beans. If green beans aren’t your veggie of choice, feel free to add in a handful of spring greens or any other seasonal ingredient that might sound good to you.
Make this minestrone a meal by simply serving it with a slice of crusty bread and a side salad. That’s what I’ll be doing — baguette on the side, pretending I’m still in Paris. Au revoir.
- -1 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- -1 medium onion, chopped
- -1 carrot, sliced into semi-circles
- -2 stalks celery, diced
- -1 ½ cups white potatoes, cubed
- -2 garlic cloves, minced
- -2 cups bite-sized green beans
- -1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- -3/4 tsp. dried oregano (or 2 - 2 1/2 tsp. fresh)
- -1 ½ tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
- -1/2 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
- -1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained
- -4 cups water or no-sodium broth
- -1 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
- -Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- In large pot, heat oil over medium. Add onion, celery and carrot. Saute for 3 minutes, and then add potatoes and garlic cloves. Continue to saute until onions are nearly translucent, stirring occasionally.
- Add green beans, diced tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, red chili pepper flakes, beans, water and salt.
- Bring to a low simmer. Cook 20-25 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve, topped with grated parmesan.