Minestrone soup, swimming with beans and macaroni, is vegetable soup’s heartier Italian cousin. Preparing it in advance and having at the ready in your freezer will have you singing “That’s Amore” when dinnertime comes around.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 can (14.5 oz) organic diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup cannellini beans, drained, rinsed (from 15-ounce can)
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cut (1/2-inch) green beans
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 carton (32 ounces) vegetable stock
Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired
In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and salt; cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and oregano; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, cannellini beans, zucchini, carrot, green beans and macaroni.
Add stock; heat to simmering over medium-high heat. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until macaroni is al dente. Top with Parmesan cheese.
To freeze: In 8-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and salt; cook about 4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, thyme and oregano; cook 2 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Stir in tomatoes and cannellini beans. Transfer to 1-quart resealable freezer plastic bag. Mix zucchini, carrot, green beans and macaroni in another 1-quart resealable freezer plastic bag. Freeze both bags up to 3 months. When ready to serve: In 4-quart saucepan, mix stock and bag of frozen tomato-bean mixture; heat to simmering over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook until frozen tomato-bean mixture is completely thawed, stirring occasionally. Add bag of vegetables and macaroni; return to simmering. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until macaroni is al dente. Top with Parmesan cheese.