Vegetable minestrones fun and easy to make, beautiful to look at, and filling in the best way. This particular recipe is a lighter for summer and has a fast cook time, so no waiting around while it simmers. Packed with fresh summer veggies, this is sure to become a favorite.
Easy and Quick Summer Minestrone [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
3 or 4
- 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half 1 medium-large tomato, cut in half
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 2 pinches
- 4 to 6 sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano, tied together
- 1 cup stemmed and chopped or thinly sliced greens or cabbage (any kind)
- 2 cups small-diced summer vegetables (any combination of green or yellow beans, peeled butternut squash, carrots, corn, okra, potatoes, snap or snow peas, sweet potatoes, summer squash, or zucchini)
- 1 cup cooked or canned pink beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup diced fresh plum tomato, including seeds and any juice (about 1 large tomato)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons, vegan basil pesto, or chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Using the large holes of a box grater, grate both onion halves onto a rimmed plate. Discard remaining ungrated pieces. Grate the tomato halves onto a separate rimmed plate. If you grate the tomato halves on their cut side, you will be left with only skin to discard. Using a rasp-style grater, grate the garlic clove into a small dish.
- In a medium Dutch oven or other soup pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the grated onion (including all its liquid) and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the grated tomato (and its liquid) and a pinch of salt and continue to cook, stirring, until the mixture has reduced and thickened and is a nice brick-red in color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until well combined and fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the thyme sprigs, the greens, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 5 cups of water. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, partially cover, and reduce to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the 2 cups of summer vegetables and bring back to a simmer. Cook until the veggies are just tender, 6 to 8 minutes, depending on which veggies you choose. Stir in the beans and the plum tomato and cook until just heated through. Remove the pot from the heat, add 1 teaspoon of the balsamic vinegar, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt or vinegar if desired. The herb finish will deepen the soup’s flavor, too.
- To serve, spoon the minestrone into soup bowls and top each with a swirl or dollop of chimichurri and some grated vegan Parmesan (if using).
From Simple Green Suppers by Susie Middleton © 2017 by Susie Middleton. Photographs © 2017 by Randi Baird. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. www.roostbooks.com