Roasted garlic takes the classic minestrone to the next level! It is delicious, comforting, and full of nutritious ingredients all in one bowl.
Time for a healthy recipe! If you’re like me, who ate a little too much finger foods, sipped on a little too many flutes of champagne, and snacked on the leftovers all day long on New Year’s Day, then you’d appreciate this minestrone soup. This soup is a little treasure for a busy life; it is delicious, comforting, and full of nutritious ingredients all in one bowl.
There are talks about an impending snowstorm hitting New York later today and into tomorrow, with blizzard-like conditions and brutal wind chill. Prepare this ahead of time so that you can have it waiting for you when you get home, or better yet, savor it all day long if you are working from home.
I roasted a head of garlic and simply squeezed out few cloves to use in the soup. Have you made roasted garlic before? It’s such a nifty little thing. They soften up when roasted and you can get them out of the peel without any effort at all. The garlic flavors are much more mellow and sweet too.
And let’s not forget the Parmesan rind. The cheese rind makes for a great flavor booster in soups! Next time you use up a wedge of Parmesan cheese and have the rind leftover, save it in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer (Whole Foods also sells them by the piece). I also save the rind from Pecorino Romano, and basically any hard cheese without a waxy rind.
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Parmesan cheese rind, optional
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cooked short-cut pasta
- 2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add roasted garlic cloves, celery, and carrot, and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, and cheese rind to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in chickpeas, pasta, and spinach, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove cheese rind and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.