Cooking in Bulk: Minestrone Soup for an Entire Week
This minestrone is the perfect thing to make in bulk when you get snowed in on a Saturday and you need to clean out your fridge.
Minestrone is an Italian “peasant food” classic, in that it’s made of very simple and cheap ingredients that come together to produce big flavor. And it’s also an easy way of eating your vegetables, kids.
Here is a basic template for this soup, but feel free to add in any other vegetables or beans that you think would fit in nicely. And if you were secretly hoping for a pasta e fagioli recipe (at least I would be), just throw in some cannellini beans (2 x 15 oz. cans) and boom, you’ve got it. Once you get the fundamentals down, the possibilities are endless. So don your red, white, and green apron and crank that Andrea Bocelli album to full blast, cause it’s about to get rustic up in here.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 carrots, diced
- 5 ribs of celery, chopped
- 2 large potatoes, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can (28oz) of diced tomatoes (low salt)
- 1 cup of lentils
- 10 cups of vegetable broth; you can make this yourself from veggie scraps or get it at the store
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 cups chopped kale or green cabbage
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup small pasta shapes (elbows, shells, stars, etc.)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs such basil and parsley (optional)
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar (optional)
- Pinch of pepper flakes (optional, but who are you kidding)
For a recipe with a lot of ingredients, it is always important to do the prep work ahead of time and have the ingredients on hand so you are not scrambling when it is time to cook. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until the onion is softened (3-5 minutes). Add the potato, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook for another 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes and lentils and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add in the vegetable broth and let it come to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the potato is tender, roughly 15 minutes. Then, add in the salt, pasta, and cabbage, if you decided to use cabbage. Let that pasta cook for 5-10 minutes. If you want to use kale instead, fold it into the pot after the pasta is done cooking and let simmer for an additional 2 minutes.
Alright breathe, stay with me, we’re almost done!
Add in the vinegar and lemon juice and remove the pot from the heat. Add in the parsley and basil if you are using them, discard the bay leaf, and refrain from attacking the delicious soup for two minutes, so that all of the flavors can come together.
Ok…now you can eat it. Serve with some crusty bread and parmesan cheese!
*Recipe adapted from Thug Kitchen: Eat like You Give a F*ck. New York: Rodale, 2014. Print.*