Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Midnight Minestrone

At about 10pm my friend Sarah and I were watching finance and budgeting shows like we do every Saturday night (Shout out to Suze O!).  During the show they briefly showed a big pot of minestrone soup when talking about a soup kitchen at a shelter.  The point was to illustrate how terrible it would be to not have savings and end up in a shelter in an emergency.  But Sarah and  I looked at each other, thinking the same thing: Let's go to there.  That soup looks crazy good.

Having already eaten dinner, I tried to brush off the craving.  But at 11pm I was in my pajamas and still thinking about that tomato-ey broth and creamy beans.  I had to make it.

I was out of both home-canned and store bought tomatoes, so I pulled out some of my home-canned tomato sauce for the soup.  This stuff is precious, but I love the idea of a really rich, garlicky, wine-drenched tomato sauce made forming the base of a soup.  Be sure you use a tomato sauce that is so good you want to drink it.

Also, I used some pickled green beans and pickled roasted red peppers in this soup for extra vegetables.  I just rinsed them first to cut down on the vinegar-y taste.  You could definitely use frozen, fresh or canned green beans here.

Midnight Minestrone

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, halved and sliced
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup pickled green beans, rinsed
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
3-4 cups of really good tomato sauce
1-2 handfuls of pasta (I used bowties)
1 bouillon cube

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add onions, celery and carrot and saute until onions are beginning to lightly brown.  Add the beans, red peppers and tomato sauce, then add water until you have a soup slightly thinner than you'd like (the pasta will thicken it up).  Throw in the pasta and the bouillon cube and simmer about 8 minutes, until pasta and carrots are tender and the bouillon is dissolved.

Enjoy late at night, snuggled on the couch.  Then eat more for breakfast!

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