This colorful Summer Minestrone — full of healthy veggies like carrots, leeks, cherry tomatoes and peas— can be made in just 30 minutes. Perfect for those end of summer cooler evenings.
This minestrone easily comes together using with your end of summer bounty (if you have a green thumb!). They are easily found at your local favorite market or green market. Mine typically start mine with onions, celery and carrots. I add in next whatever is in season and delicious.
When we were in Italy just recently, my mother-in-law was making her minestrone with what they just gathered from their gorgeous garden.
My father-in-law wakes up every morning at the crack of dawn to head over to the garden to do his work. He has to make it out before the scorching summer sun hits. In the fall, he could go even later in the morning to pick out their potatoes and other root vegetables.
We know that most of you are experiencing those first crisp nights. The temperatures may be dropping just a little for you. Sad to say that in south Florida we are only experiencing those September breezes from tropical storms and hurricanes passing nearby. But there is the hope of fall around the corner. And this end of summer soup is just what we need to find comfort during stressful moments. So perfect to enjoy on those busy back to school nights. Some other soups we love is this kale and chickpea soup (so hearty!). And also this zuppa di fagioli (Italian bean soup) is delightful on cooler fall evenings.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A MINESTRONE?
This very easy end of Summer Minestrone begins with heating the extra-virgin olive oil in a Dutch oven or large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the leeks (or onion), celery and yellow squash to the pan. Saute’ and cook for a few minutes.
Cherry tomatoes are added in next and are cooked for another few minutes.
Finally, the vegetable broth (you could use water if you don’t have broth or bouillon) and bring to a simmer. Add in the small pasta you are using and cook until al dente. During the end of the pasta cooking, the carrots and peas get added in. The whole thing comes together in less than 30 minutes!
some notes on the recipe:
We used the vegetables were on hand that is loved by all. Feel free to mix up this soup and make your own using whatever end of vegetables you encounter in your market or that you may what you may have in the garden. We usually add spinach (fresh or frozen) to most of our minestrone, as the kids love it. You could use orzo, ditalini or even broken up spaghetti. It’s even perfect as it is without any pasta. A vegan soup that is always on rotation all year round with whatever is in season.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 2 leeks washed and thinly sliced use an onion if you don’t have leeks
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 2 small yellow squash cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or rosemary)
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 4-6 cups stock or water I used vegetable stock
- 4 carrots peeled thinly sliced lengthwise (you could use a mandoline)
- 1 cup peas you could use fresh or frozen. I used frozen from fresh that I had in my freezer
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, yellow squash, and thyme. Cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 3-4 more minutes; season with salt and pepper.
- Add stock or water and bring to a simmer (start with 4 or 5 cups of stock. Depending on how thick you want your minestrone, add another cup if you want it less thick). Cook simmering, covered, for 10 minutes (leave the lid slightly off the pan and keep checking and stirring to make sure it doesn’t boil too much).
- If you are adding orzo or a broken pieces of a thin spaghetti, bring soup to a boil and add them in now. When the pasta is almost done, add in the peas. If you aren’t adding pasta to the soup, keep the soup on a simmer and add in the carrots and peas and cook for about 10 minutes (or until the peas are tender).
- If you did add the pasta, cook until the pasta is al dente (it will keep cooking in the soup because it is very hot, so check to make sure it doesn’t become too mushy).
- Adjust seasonings and serve immediately. Could be served with chopped fresh Italian parsley (leaves only). Garnish with additional thyme (optional).