I know what you’re thinking . Soup in the summer ? Really ? Yes really . I know we always think of soup as a cold weather thing, but when the produce is garden fresh, it’s a great time for Minestrone . This Summer Vegetable Minestrone is full of corn, zucchini and tomatoes . The vegetables of summer .
Most of the time I like to us vegetable stock in my Minestrone . This recipe makes use of rich tomato paste and fire roasted tomatoes . Add in some water and aromatic vegetables like carrot , onion, celery and a Parmesan rind and you don’t even need the stock. Trust me . This recipe is simply one big pot of vegetables and it’s absolutely satisfying.
You can add a variety of vegetables to this. I just wouldn’t recommend cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or peppers. Their flavors are far too strong . If you have some garden tomatoes you could finely chop those and add them in for fresh tomato flavor. Green beans or peas would also give great color and flavor.
I like to serve my Minestrone over a little pasta. I usually by Ditalini pasta or Orzo. You want to use something small. You could also omit the pasta altogether and this would still be yummy. I do not recommend cooking the pasta in the soup or storing the pasta in the soup. It gets super bloated and mushy. It will just soak up your broth. I do this for all of my noodle soup recipes. It doesn’t require any more effort and it makes all the difference .
If you try this Summer Vegetable Minestrone snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @FreshFitKitchen. I love seeing your creations!
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Summer Vegetable Minestrone
- 3 large Carrots, diced
- 2 stalks Celery, diced
- 1/2 large Onion, diced
- 3 tsp. garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. dried italian seasoning I like McCormick's Tuscan Italian.
- 2 medium Zucchini, diced
- 1 Parmesan Cheese Rind
- 14.5 ounces Canned Chickpeas Drained and Rinsed
- 14.5 ounces Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Optional
- 3 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
- 2 ears Corn, cut off the cob If you don't have fresh, you can use 1.5 cups of frozen corn.
- 3 cups Orzo or Ditalini Pasta, cooked This is optional if you want to add pasta to your finished soup.
In a large pot or a dutch oven drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil. Over medium heat, saute the carrots, onion, garlic, celery, tomato paste, and Italian seasoning until the vegetables are soft and translucent.
Add in the zucchini and just toss to coat in the seasonings and olive oil. Then add in the Parmesan Rind, chick peas, fire roasted tomatoes, water, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (if using).
Bring the mixture to a light boil then reduce to a very low simmer. Allow the soup to cook stirring occasionally. I like to simmer this for about 1-2 hours to develop the flavors.
About 20 minutes before serving add in the spinach and corn. Stir everything together and if you're going to use pasta, this is a good time to make that. You're going to make the pasta separately according to package instructions. Do not add the pasta directly to the soup as it will over cook.
Serve the soup over the pasta (if using) and add some grated Parmesan cheese. Make sure to taste your soup as you cook it to adjust for seasoning adding more salt and pepper if needed as you go.
Make it Vegan- Omit the Parmesan Cheese rind.
Make it Gluten Free- Omit the pasta or use Gluten Free Pasta.
Pasta notes: Store the pasta and soup separately. The pasta will take on broth and make the soup too thick and the pasta too soft. Use a very small short cut pasta. I recommend Orzo or Ditalini.