On a particular afternoon I started off with this idea of making mixed bean salad,which was my first ever effort to make that and wat I ended up was with a bowl of mixed beans cooked but too much to make salad out of .Taking some for my salad I saved the rest in my refrigerator thinking of how I could entice my kid into eating mixed bean since she had rejected the healthy food.Though I was thinking of Minestrone soup from the moment i had seen the over sized cooked beans ,I was not too sure my kiddo will accept it in soup form since she had done the same at many different Olive gardens,where she drinks the liquid but rejects the solids.
Today being a sunday,we got back from all our outings very late and I did not have the patience for cooking a whole dinner,so I decided it was time I used up the cooked bean which was safe in my refrigerator.Now I know I have been saying this too many times,but even I was suprised at how tasty this soup was and my daughter (the examiner of all my food) eating/drinking 2 bowls of the same is a testament of the success of the same.
I followed the recipe mentioned here http://restaurantrecipesbook.com/olive-garden-minestrone-soup-recipe/
and since I was using everything fresh from scratch except for the pasta ofcourse and due to the reduced quantity I have tailored it to my need as mentioned below.Though i was going for the Olive Garden taste I did not use the wine as mentioned in the recipe.
Ingredients:makes upto 3 large bowls
- 1 Small white onion-Chopped
- 5 Campri tomatoes.
- 1/2 celery sticks chopped
- 1/4 zucchini chopped
- 1 garlic pod minced
- 2 bowls of cooked mixed beans with its liquid(the bean and liquid put together was 2 bowls).-I have used red kidey,white ,pinto,black,soy & garbanzo.
- 1/3 large carrot shredded
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- little pepper powder
- 1 /4 tsp dry thyme
- 1 /4 tsp dry basil
- 1/4 cup spinach
- 1/4 cooked pasta(I used macaroni pasta)
- 3 cups water.
- Salt to taste.
- In a microwavable dish,place the tomato and cook for 20mts.Let it cool down,mash it and discard the slippery skin (alternative use diced canned tomato)-retain the water, along with cooked bean water as well and use instead of the veg broth ,expected of the original recipe
- In a soup pot,heat olive oil and fry onion,zucchini,celery,garlic and green beans for about 5-8mts on medium flame till onion is transparent.
- To this add the carrot,tomato,beans,thyme,oregano,basil and water and bring to a boil
- Let is simmer and cook for 15 mts.
- Meanwhile in another pot cook the paste 3/4 way ,drain and add to the soup pot along with spinach
- Mix well ,add salt and cook for another 10mts.
- Serve hot!