Picture this. You’ve spent the day out on the trails. You woke up early and snacked along the way. At the summit, you enjoy the view while eating your packed lunch. As you’re making your way back down to the campsite, it starts to sprinkle rain. By the time you get back, you’re absolutely tired, cold, and ready to eat. So what’s on the menu?
Soup is one of my favouite comfort foods to both fill and warm me up after a long day. This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available.
Tip: For best results, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results when freezing for future use.
Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2-3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1/2 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- 3 medium carrots finely chopped
- 3 large celery stalks finely chopped
- 1 28-oz can petite-diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 15.5-oz can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 4 cups organic vegetable broth*
- 2 whole bay leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1/2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 3 inches Parmesan cheese rind optional
- 2 cups Fusilli pasta
- 2 cups fresh green beans cut into 1/2" pieces
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves chopped
- freshly grates Parmesan cheese
- use additional vegetable broth to reach desired consistency if needed
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.
- Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft and tender.
- Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind, if desired, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.
- While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta and transfer to a medium bowl and toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.
- Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.
- Add arugula and additional vegetable broth, if needed, and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.