Soup is one of those meals that always evokes strong memories and emotions for me. It’s like a warm hug from your mama after you’ve spent all day outside playing in the snow. It warms you up, from the inside out, and wraps you in comfort.
Don’t tell me I’m the only one who loves walking into a house where there’s a pot of soup simmering on the stove. It’s like an invitation to relax and stick around for a while because we’ve got nowhere to be but at home, in the kitchen, keeping a watchful eye over that pot.
As I was writing this, my husband came home from work and the first thing out of his mouth was, “Oh, it smells so good in here.” It wasn’t long before he was at the stove, looking under the lid of the cast iron enamel pot that is reserved for soups and stews.
Sometimes, a bowl of soup and the company of good friends and family is just what you need to turn a bleak day around.
I remember last year when I had the flu and, my neighbor brought over a container of spicy Thai coconut soup. It didn’t cure me, but in just a few bites, it made me feel better than any of the medicine I’d been taking had. When we had a snow day recently, I borrowed my neighbor’s recipe and sent her a big batch of soup to weather the storm.
Things like that always seem to happen when there’s soup on the stove. You’ve got more than enough to share, so why not invite someone over? Or share some hospitality and leftovers with a neighbor?
This minestrone soup recipe is just right for sharing. It makes enough to feed a crowd and then some, so plan on leftovers.
Minestrone is a traditional Italian recipe, but there are about as many different ways to make it as there are types of pasta.
I took a little license with the ingredients, and you can too, using whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand.
Mine has carrots, onions, celery, green beans, cannellini beans, zucchini and cabbage in a rich broth made from RAGÚ Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion Sauce. Using Ragu pasta sauce in the minestrone takes a lot of the work out of soupmaking. I didn’t add any additional spices — not even salt or pepper — and yet the soup is bursting with flavor. That’s because Ragu sauces are simmered in tradition, made from farm-grown ingredients and stemming from founder Assunta Cantisano’s family pasta sauce recipe.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 1 cup green beans
- 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans
- 1 zucchini, diced
- ½ head savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1 24-ounce jar RAGÚ Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion Sauce
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large stock pot.
- Add onion, celery, carrots and green beans and saute for 3 minutes, until softened.
- Add cannellini beans, broth and pasta sauce and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.
- Add pasta and bring pot to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Cook for 10 minutes, until the pasta is al dente.
- Next, add zucchini and cabbage and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more, until zucchini is tender and cabbage is wilted.
- As it cooks, the pasta will absorb the cooking liquid, so it may be necessary to add more broth or water to thin the soup.
Serve the minestrone in a big bowl topped with chunks of Parmesan cheese and with a side of artisan Italian bread.
As I noted in the recipe, the pasta will absorb a lot of the broth the longer this soup sits. Personally, I love that it turns into a full-on pasta dish when I serve the leftovers. But you can always add more broth or water when you reheat it to turn it back into a soup.
Be sure to visit the Our Recipes section of the RAGÚ’s website for more great meal ideas using RAGÚ pasta sauce. You’ll always keep a jar of pasta sauce in your pantry after you see all the quick and easy meals you can make starting with a jar of your favorite sauce. Quesadillas, nachos, stuffed peppers, beef stroganoff, Swedish meatballs, plus dozens of pasta recipes, of course!