I pronounced the name of this soup as “min-a-strone-ey” for my entire life, until one day I saw it written down and then pronounced differently by a waiter (“min-a-strone”), and now it’s just a blind mental panic when I have to say it aloud until I just go with one or the other. I’m pretty sure the correct Italian pronunciation is somewhere in the middle, but my impressive lack of ability with languages is just one of the barriers to me ever sounding suave and cultured in an Italian restaurant.
Just one of many, man.
But this soup is the perfect answer to the age-old question that starts popping up midsummer: “what the HECK am I going to do with all of this summer squash/zucchini?”
Since it doesn’t need to cook for long, you don’t have to worry about cranking up the AC for hours (or just suffering with the oven on). The big bites of vegetables in a light but flavorful broth leaves you feeling full, but not stuffed or weighed down. Plus, you can use up buckets of garden produce in this soup–feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand.
Summer Vegetable Minestrone Soup (serves 8-10)
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 green onions, diced (you can substitute regular onions if that’s what you have on hand)
- 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 small summer or crooked neck squash, thinly sliced (diced if too thick)
- 1 medium-sized kohlrabi, peeled and diced
- 1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut (large pieces)
- 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 3 T pesto
- 6 C liquid (I used 4 C chicken broth and 2 C liquid)
- Parmesan rind (optional)
- 1/4 C small dry pasta (I used acini di pepe)
- salt and pepper to taste
- parsley to garnish
A big ingredient list, I know. Just use up what you have!
Brown the green onions in the olive oil in a large soup pot. Once tender, add the squash. I let these sauté in the oil for a few minutes to brown a little and add some extra flavor.
Add the remaining ingredients up to and including the pesto. I stirred the pesto into the vegetables just to make sure it got evenly distributed. Pour in the broth, then bring to a simmer and add the dry pasta (if you have it, you can use cooked leftover pasta or pre-cook it, but you may need to add less liquid to compensate). Drop the Parmesan rind in for as long as you are cooking it, and remove before serving.
Simmer until the pasta is cooked, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the parsley right at the end for a garnish and for a fresh, herbal finish to the soup.
Fritz loved this soup–I also ended up adding some leftover chicken that we had, once I realized that he’d be taking the leftovers to school for lunch. I always try to sneak in extra protein for Fritz whenever I can, since he generally doesn’t eat enough during his busy days at the clinic.
He told me this was his favorite kind of soup. He loves a flavorful broth that is packed with “stuff” (especially meat), so he feels satisfied right away.
Fritz always tells me that he can feel it “going right into his bones” when he is hungry and takes his first few bites of soup–even more so in the winter, when it’s cold and miserable outside (unlike today: 85 degrees and not a cloud in the sky!).
My baby sister Jordi turns 20 this month (eek!), and she got her first tattoo last week (for someone with real sensory issues, she did AWESOME!).
Macska means “Cat” in Hungarian, and Jordi has always loved the big cats.
Exhibit A: Jordi in a tiger t-shirt at my wedding (the previously mentioned sensory defensiveness meant she could tolerate a fancy dress for a maximum of five hours).
I love this girl.