Thursday, January 17, 2013

Winter Minestrone

The colder the weather, the heartier the soup.  Or, the more soups pinned on Pinterest.  And, apparently it’s been pretty cold in southern CA….

Soups are associated with cold weather. 

Except when I traveled to Ecuador.

We ate soup when it was warmer than 85 degrees; for this girl living near 45 degrees latitude, that was a strange thing. 

Since summer is still months away, I’ll enjoy my soup. 

It’s hearty, tasty and easy to put together.  There are 6 veggies in this soup along with yummy broth and delicious herbs.  It was fantastic served with olive oil garlic bread.   

When it’s 85, I’ll take a bowl of ice cream instead. 

Winter Minestrone – Adapted from Ina Garten


  • 2 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 T minced onion
  • 2 C sliced carrots
  • 1 C sliced celery
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 C diced tomatoes (either fresh or canned)
  • 6 C chicken stock
  • 2 C water
  • 1 (15 oz) can Pinto beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 C cooked pasta (small shape preferred)
  • 1-2 C broken or chopped spinach leaves
  • 1/4 C white cooking wine
  • 2-4 T Parmesan cheese
  • Crusty French Bread + garlic + olive oil


In a large stockpot, sauté diced carrots and celery in a few drops of olive oil until veggies are fragrant and slightly tender.  Add in the minced onion and garlic cloves.  Toss in the diced sweet potatoes and season with 1/4 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. basil and salt and pepper. 

Add 2 C diced tomatoes, 6 C chicken stock and 2 C water.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until veggies are mostly tender. 

Meanwhile, cook a 1/2 C pasta according to package directions.  This should yield about 1 C prepared pasta.  Rinse and drain and set aside. 

To the soup, add in 1 can pinto beans that have been rinsed and drained.  Stir well and simmer the soup for an additional 5-7 minutes. 

Add in the cooked pasta along with 1/4 C white cooking wine and spinach.   

Stir well. 

Stir in pre-cooked, crumbled bacon.  If you don’t like bacon, leave it out, the soup has enough flavor… although the bacon does tie the flavors together nicely. 

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in Parmesan cheese, allowing the heat from the soup to melt the cheese. 

Meanwhile, slice some French bread.  Spray each slice with olive oil and season with minced garlic.  Toast under a broiler or in a toaster oven on the toast feature for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned and warm.  Watch the toast carefully so as not to burn!


Serve the soup with the garlic toast. 



  1. Yum, yum, yum!! Love your blog! =)

  2. yum!! I am learning to love soups filled with winter veggies. This one looks great :)

  3. Looks delicious! I've been looking for new soup recipes! Can't wait to try it!


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