Tip #8 – How to Make a Meal Out of Nothing – Minestrone, My “Stone Soup”

Hello everyone! I was thinking of creating my own minestrone soup recipe, but really all that “Minestrone” is, is any vegetables, beans, grains, broth that you have thrown in a pot with herbs. So I wanted to show you how I clean out my pantry and fridge here and there with “leftover” vegetables, canned beans, tomatoes, etc. to make a meal.

Since plant based kitchens usually have canned beans or tomatoes, fresh vegetables or frozen vegetables, broth or bouillon of some sort, onions, dried beans, a few different grains, etc. This makes the process that much easier. You just need to know the order of cooking.

For me, I usually have onions, carrots, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and some sort of greens available. For canned goods, I usually have some sort of canned tomatoes – whether tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato paste, etc. and some type of beans, usually garbanzo beans. And for grains I always have some quinoa, rice, and sometimes barley. Whatever you have constantly on hand, you should know how to cook them and the time it takes to cook it.

Here is an example of one of the soups I made.

For Reference:

  1. Start with your Mirepoix (flavor base): Since I almost always have it on hand, I’ll start with a chopped onion, a few chopped carrots, and a few mushrooms and/or a stick or two of chopped celery if I have it. This time I also had a 1/2 of a green bell pepper as well. 
  2. Broth/Wine to simmer with your mirepoix: After the onion starts to break down and become translucent (8-10 minutes), I added in some garlic and a splash of dry white wine I had cooked with in a previous meal and let it simmer a few minutes so that the wine could be incorporated. 
  3. Add in any other veggies, more broth if needed, fresh herbs, and seasoning & any canned goods: Now you can add in any grains you have, this time I had to use up some potatoes so that was my starch I added. I also had a few fresh roma tomatoes, parsley, and then seasonings – garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, sage, and rosemary. Cover with enough liquid. I had vegetable broth and I covered the pot just enough so that everything was submerged. If you are cooking any grains, make sure you have enough liquid to cook the rice, barley, quinoa, etc. I also added in leftover garbanzo beans. 
  4. Add Any Frozen Veggies or Fresh Greens Since frozen vegetables and greens don’t usually take long to cook – about 10 or less minutes, add them at the end. Taste and season however you’d like. I didn’t have anything left to add to this so I was done after the potatoes finished cooking and were fork tender.

This ended up being enough for about 4-6 bowls and it was delicious!

And there you have it! You’re own “Stone Soup”. It’s great when you have a mix of things that need to be eaten, or left over ingredients from recipes you’ve made at the end of the week. Or for those cold nights you don’t want to get out and go to the store just because it looks like you don’t have anything to eat – you can always create something out of your plant based staples.

Get creative, use your leftovers, and have a happy, healthy, resourceful Shared Kitchen!

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