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Sunday, June 3, 2012

How to Make Vegan Minestrone Soup

I've been rather sick the past couple of days with a summer cold. Since this is my last day before my raw challenge starts tomorrow, I figured I'd treat myself to one last supper kind of thing.

That being said, I am making minestrone soup for lunch today. It's a thick hearty Italian soup, full of vegetables and kidney beans. It's stewing on the stove right now and although I can't smell anything because I'm still sick, it looks absolutely scrummy!

You might wonder why the hell the recipe has rice in it, but no pasta. Like a lot of people I know, I have always had minestrone soup with pasta...but when I asked one of my best friends who is Italian, she said the authentic recipe usually uses rice. After reading a bit online about minestrone soup and the history of it, it seems that different regions in Italy use different ingredients for minestrone. Although the base is the same, some use pasta, some use rice, and some use more vegetables, while others add meat or bones to flavour the soup.

Now, I've never lived in Italy, so I can't claim this recipe is truly authentic Italian, but I can say that this recipe is totally delicious! (even my mother agrees, and she usually prefers meat in most of her dishes)

 If you feel like making yourself some minestrone soup, here's the recipe!

1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
5 tomatoes, diced or blended
1 veggie cube (I use Go BIO!)
2 cups of water
3 tablespoons of rice
1/2 can of kidney beans (28 oz can)
1/2 teaspoon of basil
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1/2 teaspoon of sage
1/2 teaspoon of savory
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
2 tablespoons of olive oil
shake of freshly cracked black pepper

1.Find a deep pot that is also non-stick, add the olive oil and heat it to about medium heat. Sautee the onions and garlic with the black pepper, and quickly add the carrot and celery.

2. Add 2 cups of water with the veggie cube and also add in the blended tomatoes. Add the kidney beans and rice and let the soup simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes but keeping an eye on it so you don't overcook the vegetables.

3.  Add in all the spices and let soup cook for another few minutes. Remove from the stove and serve hot or warm. The reason I say add in the spices towards the end is because if you add them in the beginning of cooking, they tend to lose their flavour and distinct aroma.


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