Not Your Nonna’s Minestrone

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Growing up with my Italian grandmother, or nonna, it seemed as though there was always a big pot of soup bubbling on the stove. It was either minestrone, lentil soup, or peas and pasta. Ready made canned soups were foreign to us. It was Nonna’s soup all the way, and minestrone was my favorite.

With the warp speed of life today, taking a wholesome, plant-strong dinner to the table can be a challenge. It’s easy to be swayed by containers of ready-made soup at the grocer’s, but making food is always so much more rewarding.

This is where “Engine 2 comes to the rescue.” Our Engine 2 Marinara can be the base for many delicious soups. Soup is an all year thing, it’s not just for the winter! And this easy minestrone recipe will knock you off your feet!

This quick and easy recipe will become a favorite for the guys at the firehouse, the family, or a potluck at school.

Here’s what you will need to make this delicious soup:

Firehouse Minestone

-Jar of Engine 2 Marinara Sauce
-32 ounces of vegetable broth
-one can of tomato paste (6 ounces)
-one small white onion, diced into small pieces
-two carrots, diced
-2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
-two cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 zucchini, quartered into 1/4 inch pieces
-1 bay leaf
-sprig of fresh rosemary
-dried oregano or basil to taste
-nutritional yeast for garnish
-4 cups of cooked whole wheat shells, ditalini, elbow, etc. (NOTE: Not cooking (and keeping) the pasta in the soup, keeps the pasta “al dente” and delicious.)

Clean and prepare the vegetables. In a large pot, add about two tablespoons of broth, and on a low flame, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir frequently until the vegetables become translucent, about five-ten minutes. Add zucchini and garlic, and stir them into the vegetable mixture. Cook together for about five minutes. Add the bay leaf and rosemary, mix all vegetables together.

In a bowl, take the tomato paste and mix it well with the sauce, then, add broth. Once all mixed well, slowly add to the vegetables. Cook covered on a low heat/simmer for about 30 minutes. The vegetables will be deliciously firm and bright and colorful.

When the soup is done, take the cooked pasta and place a serving(about a cup) in a bowl, and ladle with soup to cover the pasta.

Garnish with nutritional yeast.

This soup freezes well. If you are into batch cooking, double up on this one, because it will be a crowd pleaser.

The enjoyment of using Engine 2 Marinara is that it is oil-free, and lower in sodium than other jarred sauces. It will make your soup sing an aria of plant-strong goodness!

Buon appetito!