Spring Minestrone

Saturday…Well, we had a beautiful spring day yesterday here at the coast, but not so much today with overcast skies, maybe a shower now and then, and much cooler temperatures, a great day for a spring minestrone dinner. As it happens the refrigerator veggie bin has great options for this casual dinner and I have taken great liberties with my additions so feel free to make your own version with your favorite additions or head to one of the links below for a new recipe. I took several ingredients from Ina, Nigella, and Yotam for my pot of spring minestrone tonight.

I had plenty of beans to finish off having made half of the bean salad recipe the previous day so I had a good start in the veggie department. Other ingredients included frozen peas, a single zucchini, half an onion, 1 leek, cloves of garlic, and plenty of fresh herbs to toss into the pot. I didn’t have cabbage this time, but I did have fresh beautiful kale from Bert at the farm that along with the snow peas were added once the minestrone was finished since they needed a very brief cooking time.

Fresh herbs included thyme, basil, and oregano, I added dried Italian seasoning to give it all a big boost of flavor and I really didn’t measure anything for the minestrone as I have made so many versions. I taste as I go finally, seasoning with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

I tossed in the contents of two 14 ounce cans of diced San Marzano tomatoes, 1 pod of concentrated chicken stock, and 3 1/2 cups of water, having extra stock on hand to thin the soup if necessary. You can use vegetable stock if you prefer and when I add small meatballs I add part of a chicken and a beef stock pod.

The pasta that you choose is up to you, but cook it separately from the minestrone and add it to individual bowls topping it with ladles of the soup…finally, garnish with grated parm or romano cheese.

Once again I cooked the minestrone in the Instant Pot (10 minutes on high with a 15-minute natural release), but you can cook it on the stovetop or in a slow cooker check your appliance for instructions. Below I have linked to a version that I have made in a slow cooker.