Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spring Minestrone

It's asparagus season.  To be honest, we eat asparagus year round in this household, but it's truly the season for my favorite vegetable.  February to June is the best time to get this green goddess veggie, with April being the peak of the season.  Instead of once a week, we'll have it multiple times until the fat stalks of Michigan asparagus are gone.

Last night I decided to use up the combination of the veggies I had left in the fridge.  This recipe is merely a guide... add any vegetable or bean combo that you have or like!

You'll need:

  • 1 cup (dry) of Ditalini or other small-shaped pasta
  • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh or canned fava beans
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable bouillon
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes to taste

  • Wash and dry the produce
  • Heat a small pot of water to boiling
  • Peel and dice the garlic
  • Chop celery into a small dice
  • Pick parsley leaves off the stems
  • Peel and small dice the carrot and onion
  • Zest the lemon
  • Cut lemon into 4 quarters and remove seeds
  • Cut the woody ends off the asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces

Cooking directions
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot
    • Add garlic, carrot, celery and onion.
    • Season with salt and pep
    • Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Add the bouillon, lemon zest, tomatoes and 4 cups of water to the pot of veggies
  • Season with salt and pep
  • Bring to a boil
  • Once boiling, bring to a simmer for 5 minutes
    • While the broth boils, add the fava beans to the small pot of water (ignore if using canned beans!)
    • Cook beans for 1 minute
    • Rinse under cold water for 30 seconds
    • If using fresh beans, pop each bean out of the skin
  • Add the pasta to the pot of veggies and broth.  
    • Cook 10-12 minutes
  • Add asparagus, half the Parmesan cheese, and half the parsley 
    • Season with salt and pep
    • Cook for 2 minutes, stirring
  • Remove from heat
    • Stir in juice from 2 of the lemon quarters
  • Divide the soup between 2 bowls
    • Top with prepared fava beans
    • Garnish with parsley and Parmesan
    • Season with red pepper and oregano to taste 
  • EAT!

This minestrone was really filling and the oregano and red pepper at the end are the perfect flavor additions.  I have to give my husband all the credit for that idea.  If you vary this recipe please leave a comment below with your modifications and how it turned out!

21 Day Fixers- One serving is 1 yellow (pasta/beans) 1 green (veggies) 1 blue (cheese) 1 orange (olive oil)

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