With the dip in the temperature earlier this week (weather in the 40′s is cold for us Florida folks), I was inspired to whip up my winter minestrone soup. It’s a favorite in my household. I’m a big soup person, but I tend to only prepare them when the weather is chilly, which is not very often in my part of the country. (Shameless dig to those of you in frigid climates)
When it does get cold-ish, I love to play around in the kitchen and test out different soup recipes. Soups are such fun to prepare. There are lots of ingredients to play around with. And there are several different varieties to choose from, and I spend most of the time crunching on the veggies as I’m chopping and peeling so it’s very enjoyable for me. (I’m definitely a muncher)
I’ve made several different variations of this minestrone over the past few years, but I have to admit, this one gets my vote for most delicious.
One of my favorite cooking mottos goes something like this: “If you want to make something better, just add prosciutto,” which is what I did for this delicious version of the classic minestrone soup.
My hubby even commented that it was my best ev. So, naturally, I had to share it with you on this glorious #FoodFriday.
Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Next add the carrots, celery, squash, onions, garlic, and dried thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes.
Once the vegetables have softened, add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the mix. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Remove the bay leaves. Add the can of beans and wait 5 – 10 minutes to heat thoroughly.
When ready to serve, add the spinach and toss until wilted, then serve with the pasta.
As a side note: I like to keep the pasta separate until ready to serve, especially because the pasta will absorb some of the liquid from the stock when I store leftovers in the fridge.
This recipe should yield 6 – 8 servings and takes about 2 hours total from prep to finish.
If you should attempt this, or any of my recipes, I would love to know how it turns out.