Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easy, tummy-warming Minestrone Soup #recipe

April gets busy. I'm back to writing a new book for the Cookbook Nook series, a short story, and a synopsis for the Cheese Shop mysteries. 

AND my husband's birthday is coming up. 

Oh, and I've also got to prepare for traveling to the east coast for Malice Domestic at the end of the month. I'm making a fun basket with all sorts of Halloween goodies in it. 

In addition, I'm still training Sparky a couple of times every day. He's growing into a fine young pup, but there are days...Yipes! Does he ever get the zoomies!!!  Running back and forth across the house or yard, like twenty times at full speed. His eyes are riveting. At the end, he looks at me as if to ask: What happened to me right then?

By the way, last week I had to bake, bake, bake because I needed to turn in recipes for STIRRING THE PLOT, which comes out this October. Don't you love the cover? 

Here's what my taste testing kitchen looked like while I worked on recipes that included French Silk Fudge cake, homemade chocolate laced with cayenne pepper, and so much more! 

Fun stuff. Messy, messy.

But it's still cold in some parts of the US and, while sugar is tasty, we always need nutritious, satisfying, EASY meals!!

This minestrone soup recipe is easy. Promise. While it has a lot of ingredients, it only has three basic steps. [Even Jenna, in the Cookbook Nook series, could handle this one, I'd bet.]

By the way, I served it with Parmesan crisps, which I make by frying already shredded Parmesan on a flat grill. Sprinkle it onto the grill in two portions (for 2 people), cook for about 3-5 minutes. Flip and turn off the heat. So tasty. All protein.

Okay, back to writing. :)



2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 package chopped spinach
1 package frozen peas
1 (1-pound) can red kidney beans
1 pound mushrooms (can leave out)
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 (1-pound or 16 oz) can tomato puree
5 (puree) cans of water
1 16 oz. chicken broth
½ cup rice  (may use pasta; if so, add 1 cup dry pasta, like elbow macaroni)
½ cup chopped parsley
½ teaspoon ground thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2-3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste


In a large stockpot, brown garlic and onions in oil.  Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prep all the cut vegetables.

Add the vegetables to the pot and stir.

Add everything else and bring to a boil. 

Turn to simmer and cook on simmer for 2 hours. Easy, right???

Note: You can make this in slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. You’ll want to sauté the garlic and onions first in a sauté pan.

Parmesan Crisps - so easy!


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  1. The cover is delightful.
    This soup looks delicious! And the crisps are a fantastic idea.
    Well done all around.

  2. Chiming in with Libby, the cover for your October release is gorgeous, and so is that soup. Very nice recipe and I really like the idea of the parm crisps, what a nice combo of textures. On the kitchen craziness, I know exactly how you feel! Recipe testing can be trying and it's certainly anything but tidy. In the end, though, your readers will thank you for your efforts. Enjoy the week!

    1. Thanks, Cleo. Tidy and cooking food. They just don't go together, do they? LOL

      Daryl / Avery

  3. I love your cover, too! Teresa is fantastic!

    Your soup sounds wonderful. And I know about those messy kitchens. Sometimes I wish I had more countertops to spread out on.


    1. Yes, miles of countertops...and roller-skates. :)

      Daryl/ Avery

  4. I do love the cover and the recipe too. The Parmesan idea is terrific. Yum!



    1. I swear, my husband is addicted to these Parmesan crisps. They work so well on a carb-free diet, too.

      Daryl / Avery