Thursday, April 9, 2009

Quick Minestrone

Lots of "oh crap, it's dinnertime and I have no idea what to cook" recipes creeping in here. Which isn't a bad thing, I suppose. Everyone needs a stash of pantry-heavy staples to fill in when you just don't feel energetic enough to go all-out, or when you lack the fresh ingredients to make something else happen.

This soup is warm, flavorful and easy to slap together. If you were feeling slightly more motivated than I was, you could start by sauteing half a chopped onion and a clove of minced garlic in the pan before you add the other ingredients, and omit the garlic and onion powder.

I was just feeling lazy.

PS. Sorry, my husband and I ate all the soup before I had a chance to take a picture. I'll be sure to immortalize the next batch for you all.

PPS. I dunno if you're "allowed" to use pinto beans and call it minestrone. I don't care either! Kidney beans are not my favorite. I like pintos in something like this. They're more buttery and bland.

Quick Minestrone

1 can petite-dice tomatoes
1 can pinto beans, including liquid
1.5 cans water
1 large vegetable bullion square
1/4 cup green salsa
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
2 small zucchini, sliced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp thyme, oregano, basil and/or marjoram
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup orzo pasta (uncooked) (any small, short pasta will work, I like orzo)

Dump everything into a pot (about 2 quarts should do ya, if you're not using big cans of tomatoes and beans) and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low heat until the mushrooms and zucchini start to look cooked, about 10 minutes. Then add orzo, stirring well, and bring it back to a boil. Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the cooking time of the pasta you chose. Serve hot with warm rolls or crackers.

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