Monday, August 12, 2013

Vegetarian Times: Late Summer Minestrone with Butternut Squash, Corn, Zucchini, Great Northern Beans and Mint

My sister-in-law, Lisa, got me a subscription to Vegetarian Times last year and I love it. The recipes are unique and really good. Despite the preponderance of cookies on this blog, we eat mostly veggies at our house, so a it's been an oft and well used gift. Thanks, Lisa!

This is my variation of their recipe for Late Summer Minestrone with leeks, butternut squash, red peppers, corn from the September 2013 issue. I added a little butter and a parmesan rind, so it's no longer vegan, but I wanted a little extra richness. I also added my favorite secret weapon for all soups, stews, and chowders, Rapunzel Pure Organic Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt & Herbs. I think both these additions gave the soup more depth than anyone would expect in something I whipped up in under an hour. Someday I'll make my own stock and freeze it up but for now these shortcuts are life-savers.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon salted butter
2 1/2 cups sliced leeks
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 Rapunzel Pure Organic Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt & Herbs
4 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon of roughly chopped fresh sage
½ teaspoon each oregano, thyme, rosemary (crushed) and parsley or Italian seasoning herb mix
2 small bay leafs
3 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped 
2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed to a small bite-size
1 cup zucchini and or summer squash, cubed
2 cups green beans, cut into approximately 1-inch pieces
1 15-oz. can beans, rinsed and drained - I used great northern beans
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2–3 Tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped - plus more for garnish


 and more veggies......
and sage..... 

Heat the oil and butter in a large soup pot over medium/high heat. Add the leeks, celery, bell pepper, and a hearty pinch of sea salt. Saute for about 8-10 minutes until the veggies are wilted/softened.

Add garlic, sage, herbs, bay leaves and garlic. Stir for about 30 seconds or so, then add the tomatoes with their juice and about 8 cups water (enough to cover everything by about 1/2 inch). Bring to a boil and add the bullion cubes, if using.

Reduce to a simmer and add the butternut squash, zucchini, green beans, white beans, and corn. Add the balsamic vinegar and taste for seasoning, adjusting as needed.  

Add the mint just before serving. I served this along with crusty whole wheat bread that I put a slice of provolone cheese on and set under the broiler for a minute until it got all bubbly. I also served a chopped salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper, red onions, capers, mint and parsley, which was a delicious and cool side-kick for this hearty, steamy soup. YUM!