Frigid weather food: what to make for dinner tonight

With the temperatures dropping faster than it takes Miley Cyrus to do something ridiculous, this hearty minestrone soup is what to make for dinner night.

It’s not surprising that this soup was on my dinner menu last night. With the mini-snow we had yesterday, I used the time to cook and bake up a , well, storm (not that I caused yesterday’s storm!).

With some crusty whole wheat bread and cheese,  the soup served as an entree in my house.

And with its abundance of healthful ingredients, if anything will actually keep the doctor away, this minestrone soup is it.

It might sound like it’ll be too garlicky.Trust me. It’s not. The garlic blends in nicely with the other flavors.

Some things I've learned: The soup is very forgiving. If you don’t have an ingredient on hand, say kale, feel free to improvise with broccoli or fresh spinach, or whatever you have in your own vegetable bin.

I used whole wheat pasta, which I almost always do these days. If you plan on having leftovers, cook the pasta separately and and add it to each individual bowl of soup. That way the soup will freeze well for another meal.

If you want the soup slightly thicker, add a spoonful or two of bread crumbs. Italian bread crumbs, in particular, add an extra boost of flavor.

Also, I use low sodium broth and canned tomatoes and beans when available.

The recipe is adapted from one on Whole Foods’ website.

Healthy, Hearty Minestrone Soup

3 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
2 cups purple cabbage, chopped
½ cup tomato paste
4 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 medium potato, diced into ½’ cubes
2 14.5 -ounce cans can chopped tomatoes in juice
2 kale leaves, center stem removed, and chopped into bite size pieces
1 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans
1 15-ounce can cannelloni bean
1 cup uncooked penn pasta
1 tablespoon dried basil
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large stockpot. Add onions and garlic and heat 1-2 minutes or until translucent. Add broth, water, cabbage, tomato paste, celery, carrots, potato and chopped tomatoes and its juice. Bring to a boil. Allow to simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kale, beans, and pasta. Bring to a slow boil again and simmer more 20 minutes or until veggies and pasta are of desired consistency.

Serves ten.

















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