Showing posts with label minestrone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label minestrone. Show all posts

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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Friday, November 29, 2013


by Sheila Connolly

Oh, lucky me:  I get to post the day after Thanksgiving.  Could people possibly be hungry?  The choice usually comes down to (a) leftovers (all that turkey just sitting there taking up half the fridge, plus dribs and drabs of the side dishes), or (b) something as far from turkey and fixings as possible, yet still easy to make because you’ve been cooking like a maniac for days.
Soup.  It’s November.  It’s cold and dark and maybe wet.  You want something soothing.  This is the recipe:  minestrone.
There are probably as many minestrone recipes as there are cooks.  It’s a great dish to keep simmering on your back burner, and the beauty of it is that you can add whatever vegetables (preferably fresh, but canned will do) you happen to have on hand. Sure, there’s some chopping involved, but you can take your time. The only restriction is that you have to be on hand to add ingredients every now and then, and the rest of the time the soup simply burbles quietly on low heat.  Serve it with some crusty bread (I usually make corn sticks with this) and you have a complete meal.

1 cup dried beans (white or whatever you prefer)
2 lbs. marrow bones (if these give you the creeps, you can leave them out, but they do contribute to the flavor)
2 1/2 qts. water
3 slices bacon, diced
1 Tblsp. olive oil
1 large onion, minced (about a cup)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup chopped potatoes
1 cup peas
2 small zucchini, diced
The last from my garden
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 cups shredded cabbage
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. powdered sage (or fresh)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 cup raw rice
2 Tblsp. butter
1 Tblsp. minced parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Wash the beans and put them in a large soup kettle. Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and remove from heat. Let stand 1 hour.
Drain the beans. Add the water and the beef bones. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. (I won't give you pictures, because this part is not pretty.)
Sauté the bacon until golden. Drain off the fat. Add the oil to the pan, then the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. 
Stir in the carrots, potatoes, peas and zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the beef bones from the beans. Add fried vegetables, tomatoes, cabbage and seasonings. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour.
Add the rice and continue cooking for 30 minutes.
Cream together the butter, cheese and parsley.  Add to the hot soup and stir until dissolved.

See?  Easy, and relatively low fat (you can leave out the butter at the end if you want, but don’t skip the bacon), not to mention warm and homey. By the way, it’s even better the second day, if you have any left.

And even more appropriate because my new book, Reunion with Death (released last week), is set in the north of Italy, where the food is amazing.

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