It’s kind of weird here in Israel. It is the middle of December, but we still have some really nice days when you can walk around in a t-shirt. The winter started off with a bang, raining a ton about a month ago. The last couple of weeks have been pretty dry. Over here, wet and cold go naturally together.
Although it might not really feel like winter, in the spirit of winter, I decided to make a big pot of minestrone soup. I love hearty soups, and this is one of my favorites. I can eat this for lunch and nothing else.
- Yield: 12 servings
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1h 30 min
This is a perfect soup for winter.
- olive oil - 3 tablespoons
- onions - 3 large, chopped
- garlic - 3 cloves. chopped
- celery stalks - 2, chopped
- carrots - 5, chopped
- cabbage - 1/2 head, chopped
- potatoes - 2, pealed and cubed
- tomatoes - 2, pealed and cubed
- kidney beans - 1 can, rinsed
- water - 10 cups
- tomato paste - 1 can
- spaghetti - 1/3 pack, broken into pieces
- salt - 4 teaspoons
- basil - 2 teaspoons
- oregano - 3 teaspoons
- In a large soup pot, heat oil.
- Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots and cabbage, and cook until cabbage has wilted and onions are translucent.
- Add potatoes and tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on medium to low heat for at least an hour.
- Serve hot.
It might seem like a lot of salt, but the soup really absorbs it all up. When I made the soup, I kept on tasting to make sure that I wasn’t overdoing it, and I didn’t seem to be. Taste it for yourself as you put in the salt to make sure that it’s to your liking.
I know, 1 can of kidney beans is a bit of a cheat. A lot of stores don’t carry canned kidney beans in Israel. I try to make it to Jerusalem every so often to stock up on all sorts of canned beans that I can’t find near home. SuperDeal and Cheapercol are two grocery stores that carry a lot of American products. You can use 1 c. of dry kidney beans if you like. Soak them overnight and you’ll be good to go.
I don’t put string beans in my minestrone soup. I actually like it with string beans (you can add 1/2 c. chopped to the recipe if you like), but my husband can’t stand them. I know, how can someone feel so strongly against such a benign food as string beans, but my husband won’t touch them. He eats lots of other greens, including broccoli, but there is just something about string beans that I will never understand.
Anyway, I hope we have a good winter with lots of rain, and plenty of nice hot soup!