Homemade minestrone blows away anything you'd ever get from a can. Sure, that might seem obvious, and true of most food. But it seems especially apparent with minestrone, because a good bowl should be overflowing with vegetables of all different kinds, and a range of textures. Crisp-tender zucchini and al dente pasta is he idea, not something simmered for so long that everything tastes the same. This makes it ideal for a weeknight dinner.
Minestrone is commonly vegetarian, but I was drawn to this recipe from Everyday Food. Though chicken is not a normal addition to minestrone, it makes this soup more substantial, and it's also a lot richer considering the chicken broth, which simmers with a leftover Parmesan rind (I always keep them in a bag in the freezer) to round out the flavor. Still, there are plenty of vegetables. It's a light, yet satisfying winter meal.
- Yield:4 servings
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:40 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
- 3/4 cup pasta shells
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 Parmesan rind (optional), plus grated Parmesan to garnish
- 1 bunch kale, stemmed, leaves shredded
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- salt and pepper
In a large, heavy pot (such as a Dutch oven), heat the olive oil over medium until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until translucent and soft, 6-8 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more. Add the tomatoes with their juice and cook until the liquid is evaporated, 5 minutes more.
Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil, then add the pasta, carrots, and Parmesan rind (if using). Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the kale, zucchini, and chickpeas. Cook until zucchini is crisp-tender and the pasta is almost al dente.
Add the chicken and cook until just warmed through. Season to soup to taste with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and serve with grated Parmesan.