"We are two sisters in two kitchens, living in New Jersey/New York."
This was written when I was living in NJ at home with my parents and my sister was pursuing her masters at NYU. Yes, I'm still in NJ, but I'm now living with a childhood friend in our own apartment in Hoboken. My sister has since had two HUGE moves, from New York to Istanbul shortly followed by another move from Istanbul to London. On top of that, she's had another huge life change: an engagement to her amazing boyfriend (now fiance.) It's funny how relationships change, friendships change, and even homes change in a time as short as 1 year.
So aside from needing to update our blog's description, I also need to say I'm happy to be back and blogging again. Sometimes the creativity comes in spurts, as well as the free time. But for when it's available, I hope our dedicated readers, who I'm sure have forgotten about us in our 8 months of absence, will come visit Two Minds Cook Alike again to see what's cooking in our new kitchens.
Today's blog post, in honor of this cold gloomy day, features a hearty Minestrone Soup. I made a massive batch of this soup and gave some to my boyfriend's family to try and they all seemed to love it. Given he comes from a big Italian family, their praise felt like a huge accomplishment.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
Kosher salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 28 oz. can Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (homemade always preferred, but I had to use store bought this time)
1 15 oz. can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed (cooked fresh is an option also)
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups ditalini pasta, cooked (I like a lot of pasta in my soup!)
2 bay leafs
1) Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
2) Add the celery, carrot, and zucchini and cook until they begin to soften, approximately another 5 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, an thyme and cook for a few more minutes.
3) Add the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes (I personally do not like chunky tomatoes so I would have preferred to purée them in a blender in retrospect), chicken broth and bay leaves to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
4) Stir in the beans and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes. As the soup is cooking, cook the pasta separately. I prefer to cook the pasta separate from the soup because it allows me to make sure they're perfect al dente.
5) Season with a little more salt if you'd like. Then add the pasta after the soup has cooked and serve! Feel free to garnish with any fresh herbs, like basil or parsley.
When I finished cooking the soup, it felt a little too thick so be sure to add water or more broth, depending on your preference.
Thanks for reading! I highly recommend trying this one.