I may have jumped the gun by a few hours when I made this minestrone on Friday night, but it has felt like fall in St. Louis for a couple of weeks now, so we were more than ready for soup on the eve of the first official day of the season.
Poking around in my recipe folder, I found three soup recipes that looked promising, and even more so when I built on one by borrowing from the other two. I ended up using a GenY Foodie recipe for quinoa minstrone as my base, with embellishments from two ribolita recipes (ribolita is a traditional Italian bread soup), one from NY Times and the other from 101 cookbooks.
I should back up and mention that I needed to make a soup in order not to waste the overwhelming remaining quantity of beans that I cooked last weekend. We have both been diligently incorporating the mixture of kidney and cannellini beans into our daily meals, but barely making a dent in the pink and pearl colored mound. Hence, the need to turn the beans into something else…and something quite delicious, I might add.
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
4 ribs celery, diced
–Saute in olive oil, in a large pot–
1 red pepper, diced
–Add to pot, stirring–
4 cups vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
1 sprig rosemary (or dried, to taste)
Thyme (I used dried, about 2 teaspoons)
salt & pepper, to taste
–Add, bringing mixture to a gentle boil–
1 cup quinoa
–Add quinoa, bring to a simmer, let quinoa cook (10ish minutes)–
1 large can diced tomatoes
beans (in my case, kidney and cannellini, as much as you want)
several handfuls of kale, chopped
lemon zest, to taste, lemon juice if you dig citrus
–Stir in tomatoes and beans, adding kale or other chopped greens–
Voila. Let it simmer for a while, the longer the better, I suppose, for the flavors to meld. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.