Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekend Cooking: The Best Minestrone Ever

Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.



It's a chilly, windy Saturday in southwest Florida. Of course, chilly  is a relative term. In central New York, a 58 degree January morning would be considered positively balmy, but down here it has me craving soup. Earlier this week (and on another cool day), I made a big pot of Minestrone using this recipe found on the Skinnytaste blog.


You're looking at her photo, but my soup looked almost as good... and the taste was amazing! Two cooking options are provided in the recipe - a crock pot version and a stove top version. I'm usually all about slow cooker soups, but on that particular day, I couldn't wait six or eight hours and opted to follow the stove top directions.

I used a small star-shaped pasta (because I couldn't find ditalini on the island), fresh spinach and herbs, and did throw in a parmesan rind because I had one on hand. I cooked the pasta separately as directed, but added it to the soup pot rather that ladling it directly into the bowls. Pureeing the cannellini beans with chicken broth made for a thicker base, but I would have liked some beans in the soup, too. Next time.

This was, without a doubt, the best minestrone ever! Encouraged by the results, today I'm making Skinnytaste's  Turkey Chili Taco Soup. I'll let you know how it turns out. Will you be making or eating soup this weekend?

42 comments:

  1. Oh that soup looks delicious. Yes, you're idea of a soup day is definitely different from those of us still up north this winter. :) You raved about Skinnytaste before and I've finally checked the cookbook out of the library. Now to use it before I have to return it.

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    1. Beth F - I've never been disappointed in a skinnytaste recipe!

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    2. I'll second that opinion! Every recipe I try in Skinnytaste has been a hit! Now to try this minestrone. Not one of my favorite soups, but I'm willing to give it a try. :)

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    3. Les - I'll try just about any recipe she shares, too!

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  2. YUM. Just sent the link to my chef. I am thinking I really should buy him the cookbook.

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    1. Care - I'm sure he'd love the cookbook;-) Not sure whether this recipe is in it to not.

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  3. Yay for soup!! That minestrone looks so yummy, must pin the recipe. We're all in a soup state of mind, regardless of where we live. SOUP MAGIC :)!

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    1. Jama - There's something to that soup magic theory, I think!

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  4. Oh, that soup does look delicious! We're in the 20's and near teens in TN (snowmaggedon 2016) and chili and soup are my definite go to foods for this time of year. I'll shelve this recipe until my next grocery store haul and give it a try. You're making me soup hungry on a cold day like today.

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    1. Kathy Reads Fiction - You're definitely in need of soup today! Hope you stay safe and warm throughout the storm.

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  5. I'm with you on 58 being cold. I'm glad I don't live any farther North than I do. I think my blood is far too thin! I love that there are both slow cooker and stove top options. I need to spend more time with Skinnytaste's recipes. I've enjoyed everything I've made by her but haven't tried anything new in awhile.

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    1. Katherine - Being from upstate NY, I can't even believe I'm thinking of 50s as cold. But the house here definitely doesn't have as much insulation, so it sure feels chilly!

      Skinnytaste has the best recipes. There are still so many things in the cookbook I haven't tried! Maybe when we get back home. I'll start at the beginning and just cook my way through it ;-)

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  6. We eat a lot of Iot of soup here no matter what the weather. I like the Skinny Tatse site, good food and that looks like a great bowl of soup.

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    1. Tina - Soup seems to taste good to me in any weather, too! It seems like I pin every recipe from the skinnytaste blog :)

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  7. Happy winter!

    We are getting buried here on Long Island today. The forecast is calling for 1 to 2 feet of snow. I am also making soup today, in my case it is Escarole and White Bean.

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    1. Brian Joseph - Escarole and White Bean is one of my favorites! Hope you stay safe and warm during the storm.

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  8. That does look good! I too a look at the Turkey Chili Taco Soup and it's very much like the Taco Soup that I make a couple of times a month. I haven't used refried beans in it though. Might try that. We're up to 45 here in the Austin area, but were down to 28 this morning. Bright blue skies and windy. I'm ready for spring.

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    1. Kay - I made the turkey chili taco soup for lunch today and it was delicious! Have never used refried beans in soup before, so that was a first. We've warmed to 61 now and have another cool day coming tomorrow. Hopefully we'll make it back to 70s for next week :)

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  9. Seems to be a real soup theme going here, but always good, especially in the colder months. I made curried pumpkin soup with mushrooms this week.

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    1. Claudia - It seems like a lot of us are thinking of soup today, lol! Pumpkin is another one of my favorites.

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  10. We're in Longboat Key Florida now and it has been colder all week. But I'm glad that we aren't back home in NYC now, my sons say it is getting bad.

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    1. Diane - My daughter is in NYC, too, and she says it's bad there now! We've had a couple of very stormy days this week and all of them quite cool... glad I'm not heading home just yet. Hope you have a good week on Longboat Key!

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  11. The minestrone looks and sounds delicious. (I bookmarked the recipe.) One sense you forgot to mention - the smell. I'll bet your house smelled delicious with that pot of soup simmering away. Stay warm JoAnn.

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    1. Margot - How could I have forgotten to mention the smell??? It was heavenly! The turkey chili taco soup turned out well, too.

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  12. That looks like a wonderful soup for the winter months.

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    1. Joy - It was! I'll definitely be making it again.

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  13. Looks delicious! I planned a White Chicken Chili in the Crockpot today, but got started too late for the hours it would need in the slow cooker, so will try it for tomorrow. We had leftover Ham and 15-Bean Soup today, instead.

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    1. Laurie - I'm looking for a good white chicken chili recipe! Let me know if you like it :)

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  14. I copied down my sister's minestrone recipe while I was visiting...but (shhh, don't tell her) I love the idea of the pureed beans!

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    1. AUdrey - Welcome home!! The pureed beans gave the broth a nice creaminess... wish I'd added more to the soup though.

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  15. This soup looks yummy! This week it has been cold here in the UK so I made big batches of leek potato soup and then tomato and sweetcorn soup :-)

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    1. Jessicabookworm - Those both sound delicious! I love soup... could eat it every day of the year.

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    1. Pat - They were! The turkey chili taco soup was especially easy, too.

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  17. Funny how your body adjust to the cold! I grew up in the cold cold winters of Toronto and was always outside but now 58 is chilly to me as well. I've never made minestrone before but this looks delicious! We are a family of soup lovers--the girls eat theirs with rice/pasta to help make it easier to eat.

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    1. Trish - I still haven't figured out why the 50s feel so much colder down here... maybe because the house isn't insulated as well? Or it could be because I left my really warm clothes at home ;-)

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  18. That soup look good! I've visited Skinnytaste a lot but have never made one of the recipes. I'll try one this week though since so many of you have commented about how good they are.

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    1. Vicki - I'll be curious to hear which one you try! Like I said above, her recipes have never disappointed me :)

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  19. How funny! Craving soup in hot sunny Florida. I made Ina Garten's Chicken soup here to keep us toasty!

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    1. Patty - It does seem strange, but I can always eat soup. Ina has the best recipes!

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