Spring has finally arrived, and we are all looking forward to creating lighter meals with the fresh spring produce available to us now. Although one may not necessarily think about soup as a spring meal option, I love making healthy soups chock full of grains, beans, and vegetables year-round. Although I usually serve my soups warm during cooler months, when the temperatures rise, I prefer to serve my soup at room temperature so you can enjoy the full flavor of the ingredients.
I first enjoyed a bowl of room temperature minestrone when we lived in Milan, Italy. A small local family-run restaurant made a delicious minestrone with various vegetables that they thickened with rice. They left the bowls of soup on the counter, and once you ordered your soup, they would top it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Ever since I enjoyed my first bowl of summer minestrone, I have served it myself at room temperature during warmer months.
This soup has three types of beans, making it hearty enough to serve as a dinner entree, along with a crisp green salad and some crusty bread. My favorite toppings for this soup are either a dollop of pesto, a sprinkling of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, or even just a drizzle of top-quality extra virgin olive oil. If you prefer, you could cook up dried beans to use in this soup, but for convenience, I use canned.
Deborah Mele 2022
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
- 2 Celery Stalks, Chopped
- 1 Small Head Fennel, Top Removed, Cored, & Chopped
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 Medium Carrots, Chopped
- 1 (15 Ounce) Can Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 6 Cup Vegetable Broth
- 1 (15 Ounce) Can Each of Cannellini, Borlotti, & Kidney Beans, Drained & Rinsed
- 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves
- Topping of Choice
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy stockpot over medium heat, then add the onion, celery, fennel, garlic, and carrots.
- Cook, stirring often, until they vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper, and broth, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the beans and parsley, and cook another 5 minutes until heated through.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with topping of choice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1275mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 12g