Happy Halloween! My folks are coming over to our house this evening to hand out goodies to the trick or treaters. We thought we would eat Minestrone Soup leftover from last night's Halloween party for dinner. However, there's not enough soup left for four people. We're ordering pizza in instead. Also, we're not having Sunday dinner this week. Well, we are eating Sunday dinner, but it is a hodgepodge of leftovers.
I thought, then, that I would share the Minestrone Soup recipe with you. It is a favorite at our house and I make it every so often. Apparently it was a favorite last night as well. This is one of the easiest recipes I know.
MINESTRONE adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 1998 [original recipe title: Hearty Beef, Pasta, and Spinach Minestrone]
1 package (12 oz) Boca Ground Crumbles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 box (32 oz) vegetable stock
1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 package Bear Creek Vegetable Beef soup mix
1/2 cup uncooked ditalini or other "mini"-type pasta (I used mini-penne)
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry (or not - I usually put it in the soup frozen and let it slowly incorporate)
Extra vegetables: I add some frozen white corn, probably about 3/4 cup
Water: I add water throughout the cooking process to keep everything moist - this soup tends to thicken quite easily and the pasta keeps soaking up the water
Cook the boca with olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until browned a bit more; be sure to use olive oil or the boca will stick to the pot. When you are ready, add the stock and tomatoes. Let these integrate a bit; add more water. Add the soup mix and bring to a boil, simmer about 7 minutes. Add the spinach, stir until the spinach is no longer frozen and the soup begins to come to a boil again. Add water if needed. Add the pasta, lightly boil 7-9 minutes*. Add the corn; allow all to heat through.
The soup is now ready to eat. However, I usually cook it earlier in the day and so at this point I transfer it to a crock-pot, add more water, and put it on low or warm until it's time to eat.
This makes a lot of soup - at least 10 servings. I wouldn't know where to cut back since it calls for the package of soup mix. I might be able to freeze some of the soup, though, by waiting to add the pasta* until last and dividing the soup before adding the pasta.
The original recipe stated a serving size equals 2 cups; when I figured the Weight Watchers points for the original recipe it equals 5 points per serving (that's with ground round).