Soup makes me a better person. There is something very soothing about putting a pot of ingredients on the stove to simmer, filling the house with a rich, steamy aroma. Making soup forces me to slow down and appreciate the time that goes into creating a healthy, nourishing meal. Soup cheers my spirits, fills my belly with warmth, and infuses my whole body with strength and wellness.
My favourite soup is minestrone and it’s what I always requested for my birthday lunch as a child. My mother made it often, but I could never get enough of it. I continue to make it regularly because it’s just so satisfying and delicious. Every time it comes out a little bit differently, depending on what ingredients I have on hand, but it never fails to make me happy. The recipe is very flexible, so feel free to substitute vegetables, beans, or pasta types. It can also be made vegetarian.
Delicious Minestrone Soup
1 onion, chopped
1 lb sausage meat
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
Assortment of herbs: 1 tbsp dried oregano or 1 tbsp dried basil or several sprigs fresh thyme or handful of chopped fresh oregano
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
Chicken or vegetable stock, preferably homemade, or water
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cabbage, sliced in thin narrow strips
1 small jar marinated artichokes, chopped coarsely (optional)
¼ cup green or black olives, sliced (optional)
1 cup fresh tortellini
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat some olive oil in a heavy pot and sauté the sausage meat and vegetables until soft. Add herbs, tomatoes, and enough stock to cover all vegetables by 2 inches. (It will be more than you think you need, but you’ll be adding a lot more ingredients.) Let simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook tortellini separately. Drain. Add beans, cabbage, artichokes, and olives to soup. Simmer 10 minutes until cabbage is soft.
Add tortellini at the end and adjust seasonings. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. Minestrone makes a perfect dinner with crusty bread or tea biscuits and a green salad.