Soup is not normally the first thing that comes to mind when the temperature outside is a whopping 109 degrees. Nobody wants to get out of the pool and come inside for a steaming bowl of soup, do they? During the fall and winter months, if I spot a cloud in the sky, well- I get out my stockpot. But it's summer time, so what business do I have making soup? Shouldn't I be grilling and chilling? Or chopping up a salad? Or turning an ice cream crank? Well, hang on.
Before you file this soup recipe away in your "I'll try this in October" file, consider that this is really a perfect summer soup. Your basil, zucchini, squash and tomatoes will be at their summer-sweet best, so you can bet your green thumb that Garden Harvest Minestrone will be at its best, too. It makes a delicious light dinner, but I gotta tell you folks, the day after it makes an irresistible lunch. So be bold, look the thermometer squarely in the eye, and get out your stock pot. Summer soup is on.
Garden Harvest Minestrone
Estimated Cost: $4.00Notes: I used some leftover brown rice in this soup. If you don't have any leftover, just add a small pasta or brown minute rice or couscous when the soup begins to simmer. Adjust cooking time so that whatever grain you choose can be tender.
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling on top
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots chopped,
1 large celery stalk, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced, divided
6 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 summer squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup leftover rice or pasta
Parmesan cheese for serving
In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and half of garlic and cook, stirring often until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, and rosemary. Add zucchini and squash. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in remaining garlic and fully cooked rice or pasta, heat through. Turn off the heat and stir in basil. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in individual bowls. Sprinkle soup with Parmesan and drizzle with a tiny bit olive oil if desired.
Coming Tomorrow: 15 minute Gourmet
Super Fast Weekend Lunch:
Browned Butter Garlic Pasta with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan